Trying to determine why Iraq veteran engaged in shootout with police

PACIFIC, Mo. – Jefferson County sheriff’s detectives are trying to figure out why a suspect went on a one-man crime spree Monday. Investigators said it’s important to determine why Jerrod Kershaw did what he did.

“None of us want to believe that anyone is inherently evil, so it’s important for us to figure out the why and hopefully we can prevent anything in the future like this from happening, if we can determine it’s preventable,” sheriff’s department spokesman Cpl. Matthew Moore said.

Jerrod Kershaw, 30, went on a series of crimes, including death threats against family and co-workers, trying to kidnap a family, carjacking a man’s vehicle, fleeing police along Interstate 55, and engaging in a shootout with St. Louis County police.

Kershaw was killed in the shootout.

Just hours before all of that violence, investigators said Jerrod’s life appeared to be normal.

“Jerrod was hanging out with some of his family as recently as this past Sunday and, according to the interviews, everything was normal. There was nothing out of the ordinary,” Moore said.

Kershaw told neighbors he suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after serving in the military and recently received more bad news – that he had cancer.

Kershaw’s mother and sister declined to be interviewed on camera Tuesday. His mother would only say she loved her son very much. Officers served a search warrant at the apartment but said nothing glaring was found.

“Not a whole lot was found there,” Moore said. “We seized a couple of computers, applying for search warrants on those as well; see if we can find out if there’s anything on the computers.”

Kershaw worked at an eyeglass manufacturing company in Pacific. Workers said they could not talk about him. Authorities said we may never know what caused Kershaw to do what he did.