Car chase ends with apparent suicide

Sunday, September 24, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:33 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

A 38-year-old Columbia man is dead in what police called an apparent suicide after he led law enforcement officers on a 20-mile chase Friday.

Bob Smith, a detective with the Callaway County Sheriff’s Department, said Columbia police received a call at about 11:30 a.m. Friday from the man’s friend, who said he was supposed to meet him at the Cracker Barrel located at 3304 Clark Lane, but was concerned his friend was armed and suicidal.

“Columbia police officers showed up to speak to the man,” Smith said. “He fled to his vehicle and started the pursuit.”

Smith said he did not know how fast the chase was, but said that Columbia police officers, Boone County Sheriff’s deputies, Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers and Callaway County Sheriff’s deputies were involved.

The chase ended on Route DD in Callaway County, when the armed man slammed on the brakes of his Ford pickup truck, police said.

“He locked up the brakes and came to a stop,” Smith said.

Smith said Callaway County Sheriff’s deputies found the man dead of a gunshot wound to the head in his truck. Police found an open container of alcohol in the truck, suggesting that he had been drinking, Smith said. He was pronounced dead at the scene and transported to the Boone/Callaway County medical examiner’s office.

Smith declined to release the man’s name, saying he was not sure if the family had been notified. Smith did say Columbia police had responded to the man’s house “a couple of weeks back” because of suicidal threats.

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