COLUMBUS, Ind.- A Columbus man is dead after an attempted traffic stop led to a car chase, manhunt and eventually a shootout Saturday.
“This started out as a simple traffic stop. A simple traffic stop leads to someone losing their life,” Indiana State Police Sgt. Jerry Goodin said. “And two officers who could have lost their lives. It’s senseless and only Quentin Starke knows why he did these things.”
Columbus Police Officer Joshua McCrary, a 9-year veteran, attempted to pull over the suspect, 44-year-old Quentin Starke, around 4:30 a.m. Saturday in downtown Columbus near the intersection of 11th Street and Washington, Goodin said.
Starke fled and after a pursuit eventually stopped in a field near the water treatment plant south of downtown.
There, Goodin said, Starke pulled out a rifle and shot at McCrary and injured him.
“The police officer was injured, taken to the hospital, subsequently released and is going to be fine,” Goodin said.
A large manhunt ensued that involved multiple agencies using helicopters, officers on the ground and K-9’s to find Starke.
A lone State Trooper eventually found McCrary hiding in some woods across a river and not far from the original shooting scene around noon, Goodin said.
“When this encounter took place Quentin Starke fired a fire arm at the trooper,” Goodin said. “The trooper was not hit, was not injured. The trooper returned fire, during that exchange of gunfire Quentin Starke was struck and subsequently died at the scene.”
The State Trooper involved in the second shooting has not been identified by authorities.
Both officers in today’s shootings are on paid leave pending the results of the Indiana State Police’s investigation.
A coroner will now perform an autopsy to determine if Starke died from bullets from the trooper's gun or from bullets from his rifle.
An Indiana State Police Detective interviewing Starke’s family tells Fox 59 the family is asking for their privacy and is, “as shocked as anyone,” by today’s events.