Police chase ends when murder suspect shoots self
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent June 6, 2014 6:50PM
This the scene on the southbound exit ramp at 109th Avenue and Interstate 65 in Crown Point on Friday where a man shot himself after leading police on a chase through Starke, Porter and Lake counties. | Indiana State Police
Updated: July 8, 2014 6:17AM
CROWN POINT — A three-county police chase ended Friday afternoon on an Interstate 65 exit ramp near Crown Point after the driver lost control of his vehicle and then shot himself.
The driver survived and was flown to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois, where he was in critical condition late Friday night. He is a suspect in a homicide earlier Friday at a home in Knox in Starke County, according to Sgt. Ann Wojas, public information officer for the Indiana State Police. Police were withholding the driver’s identity, pending notification of family members.
Wojas said that after the homicide, the driver left the residence in a personal vehicle and carjacked two other vehicles in two different locations in Starke County.
The first stolen vehicle, a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee, broke down by a residence in the 200 block of West Indiana 8 in Porter County, according to state police.
When two men leaving the home saw the disabled Jeep, they stopped to see if the driver needed assistance, and the man implied he had a gun and stole a 1988 GMC Sierra about 4 p.m., Wojas said.
She said the two victims called 911 to report the stolen pickup truck, and Hebron police soon saw it at Indiana 8 and County Road 600S and began to pursue it along with Porter County sheriff’s police. The chase continued through Porter County until the Sierra began heading westbound on 109th Avenue, and state police shut down the I-65/109th Avenue interchange, Wojas said.
Crown Point police deployed stop sticks at Maine Street and 109th Avenue, and the Sierra ran over them, puncturing two tires, but the truck did not stop and traveled north on the southbound exit to I-65. The driver tried to make a U-turn to head south on I-65 when he lost control of the truck and got stuck in gravel between the interstate and the ramp, according to state police.
As police closed in on the driver, he shot himself once, Wojas said, and was taken to Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Crown Point and later to the regional trauma center in Oak Lawn.