(This story written by Missourinet news director Brian Hauswirth and news director Matt West at Missourinet Festus affiliate KJFF Radio)
The sheriff in southeast Missouri’s Jefferson County held a news conference Monday afternoon regarding the police chase that began in St. Louis County and ended near Festus in Jefferson County.
Missourinet Festus affiliate KJFF Radio (AM 1400) reports the suspect, 31-year-old Jarrod Kershaw of Pacific, died during a shootout with police.
Jefferson County Sheriff Dave Marshak tells KJFF that the suspect carjacked a Hyundai Sonata in St. Louis and drove south on I-55, before being stopped by “spike strips”.
“Upon the vehicle stopping there was an exchange of gunfire between the officers and the suspect,” Marshak says. “It has yet to be determined who fired what. That’s part of our investigation.”
Sheriff Marshak held a news conference in Hillsboro, after the incident.
“At 9:08 (a.m.) his mother had called Jefferson County Dispatch and indicated that her son was en route to the DeSoto area to kill a family member and himself,” says Marshak.
More than 80 police vehicles responded to Monday’s incident. KJFF, which carried the sheriff’s press conference live, reports the stolen vehicle was peppered with gun shots on the windshield, back window and driver’s side.
Marshak says several weapons were found inside the suspect’s vehicle. The “St. Louis Post-Dispatch” reports Kershaw was wearing a bulletproof vest when his body was found.
KJFF reports Kershaw crashed his vehicle at interstates 270 and 255, which is in south St. Louis County. He then reportedly tried to steal a vehicle from a “Good Samaritan” who stopped to help him, but Marshak says Kershaw didn’t know how to drive a stick shift.
St. Louis County Police and Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies received assistance from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, along with Festus and Herculaneum police officers.
No officers were injured during the gun battle.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar also addressed reporters at the Hillsboro news conference. Belmar commends the officers who were involved in the incident.
Monday’s incident closed I-55 near Festus for several hours.