Alleged kidnapping leads to multi-state police pursuit, shootout with police; 2 dead
ST.LOUIS – An overnight police pursuit crossed state lines, went for well over an hour and ended with two people dead.
According to Illinois State Police, the pursuit began just after 9:00 p.m. Tuesday on Highway 50 near Highway 47 in Jefferson City after the suspect allegedly kidnapped a woman and a child in Jefferson City.
The pursuit traveled through St. Louis County and City then traveled northbound on I-55 crossing the Poplar Street Bridge into Illinois at 9:34 p.m.
The 33-year-old woman, and child who had been kidnapped were able to escape from the vehicle along Route 140. The woman had suffered multiple gunshot wounds. During the Illinois State Police press conference Wednesday morning, Captain Timothy Tyler confirmed she had been taken to the local hospital and was in surgery. Her condition is unknown at this time.
The suspect continued to flee from police and ended in Bond County, Illinois. In Bond County, the suspect tried to carjack another vehicle along Route 140 near Shore Creek Illinois, shooting and killing 64-year-old Gregory Price from Florissant Missouri.
The suspect eventually drove down a dead-end road got out of the vehicle and tried to flee on foot. He began shooting at police and officers fired back. The suspect was ultimately found dead.
It is not clear if he died from the shootout with authorities or a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He has been identified as 39-year-old Leslie K. Austin from Jefferson City.
Illinois State Police say Austin and the 33-year-old woman were believed to be involved in a romantic relationship. According to court records, a protection order was filed against Austin on February 7. Austin did not show up to the court date.
More details will be posted as this story develops.