Eau Claire (WQOW) - Police are calling what happened Friday night a complicated situation. It began with a car chase in Altoona Friday night, and ended with a shooting. They are not releasing any new information right now, including the suspects name. They say the entire situation involves multiple agencies, and could take a while to piece it all together.
"At approximately 6:30 p.m. a vehicle pursuit began in the City of Altoona involving several agencies. The pursuit continued into the city of Eau Claire where Eau Claire Police officers became involved in the pursuit," said Eau Claire Police Department's Officer Kyle Roder.
Eau Claire police say the pursuit led officers into the 3rd Ward of the city.
"I was having dinner inside, just across the street and heard a very loud tire screeching, and then a loud crash. It was so loud that my heart started racing right away," said Susannah Saxman, who was in Eau Claire visiting friends.
"I imagine he was headed up towards Brackett, but there was a family pulling out behind you, so he tries to make a turn. An SUV comes from behind me here, and he hits them broadside and pushes them all the way across the intersection," said Jamie Radabaugh, who lives in the 3rd Ward.
Shortly after that, police say the suspect left his vehicle and fled on foot. Then, police received a report of a home invasion by an armed suspect. Officers say the suspect got a hold of another vehicle and after leaving the 3rd Ward was spotted again by police. They say that chase was brought to a halt near the parking lot of Wagner lanes.
"It seemed like ten, twenty police cars…they were all in here. We all came outside with some customers who were watching the action. We came outside and we noticed a guy in the drainage area here where all the runoff goes," said Sam Hetzel, who works for the Jimmy Johns on Brackett Avenue.
Witnesses who saw the incident say the suspect was a male wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Sam says police were giving him plenty of space, until he made a run for a fence. He says he saw police use a swat vehicle to bust through the fence in their pursuit. Shortly after that, Sam says he heard shots fired.
"They all had their guns drawn on him, so when they shot, it sounded like 6, 7, 8 gunshots within a second you know? Just like pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop…you could kind of assume that was them shooting the guy," Hetzel said.
Police say the suspect was shot by an Eau Claire police officer in the area of Culver's. He was transported to a local hospital but did not survive his injuries.
"I've lived here my whole life, but it's definitely eye opening, definitely a little bit scary. Definitely, you know, makes me worried for stuff in the future," said Hetzel.
Eau Claire police say they, along with the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation and the Wisconsin State Patrol, are still actively investigating. More information could be released on Monday.
Eau Claire (WQOW) - A chase ends with gunfire in the parking lot of an Eau Claire restaurant. The suspect at the center of the chase has died.
The incident started around 6:30 Friday evening. An officer attempted to pull over a vehicle in Altoona when the man behind the wheel sped up and lead police on a chase into Eau Claire. The pursuit led into the city's 3rd ward where the suspect crashed. A short time later a home invasion was reported, the caller told police the man was armed.
Soon after the man was spotted behind the wheel of another vehicle and a second chase began. An eyewitness tells WQOW News 18 they saw a black SUV speeding down Clairemont Avenue with multiple police cars chasing behind. It appears that chase ended in the parking lot of Wagner's Lanes in Eau Claire, where a WQOW News 18 reporter says a black SUV that looked like it had been in an accident had been abandoned. Police say the suspect fled on foot and was shot by an Eau Claire police officer in the parking lot of Culver's.
"Within a minute every squad car, swat team, fire truck and ambulance was over here blocking off roads. Within another 30 seconds they were out of their cars with shotguns, the whole nine yards," says Dallas Bennett, a witness and assistant manager at the nearby Taco John's. "They said stay inside, lock your doors. I brought all my employees to the back of the store, got all the customers in the back out of the way. I just made sure everyone was safe. After that, I heard a couple of shots fired over at Culver's."
The suspect was taken to a local hospital where he died. The suspect's name is not being released at this time. As of late Friday night, roads near Brackett Avenue remained closed while police investigate the incident.
Eau Claire (Press Release from ECPD) - On 10-05-12 at approximately 6:30 p.m. a vehicle pursuit began in the City of Altoona involving several agencies. The pursuit continued into the City of Eau Claire when Eau Claire Police officers became involved in the pursuit.
The pursuit led into the 3rd Ward area of Eau Claire where the suspect vehicle crashed and the suspect fled on foot. A short time later a home invasion was reported in that area and the caller advised that the suspect was armed. The suspect acquired another vehicle and shortly after leaving the 3rd Ward was spotted again by police at which time a second pursuit ensued. This pursuit ended in the area of Culver's where an Eau Claire Police Officer shot the armed suspect in the parking lot. The suspect was transported to a local hospital and did not survive his injuries.
The Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation and the Wisconsin State Patrol will be assisting in the investigation of this incident.
The suspect is not being identified at this time. The Eau Claire Police will not be answering any further questions at this time. Further information will be provided in the near future after further investigations.
Eau Claire (WQOW) - Police are responding to an incident in the City of Eau Claire.
According to a WQOW News 18 reporter on the scene, it appears an SUV and car collided near Wagner's Lanes. The reporter says Brackett Avenue is now blocked from Hastings Way to Keith Street.
An assistant manager at a nearby Taco John's tells WQOW News 18 they saw police running across the parking lot of Culver's and heard what sounded like gun shots. Our reporter says police are now inside Culver's talking to customers.
The media contact for the police department is on scene. Officer Kyle Roder says police do not have any information to pass along at this time.
Continue to follow WQOW News 18 online and on air for new information as it becomes available.
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