YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Reports said a witness told police Tuesday a man who died in a chase fired several shots at him over something that happened 20 years ago — when the witness was only 15.
The witness, 35, told police that it happened when he was with his own 14-year-old son and getting air in the tires of a Jeep about 6 p.m. at the South Avenue Gas Mart at East Dewey and South avenues. The witness said a man in a black BMW SUV pulled up and asked if the witness remembered him.
The witness replied he vaguely remembered the man because of a fight about 20 years ago, reports said.
Police Chief Carl Davis said the grudge goes back to school days.
The driver pulled a gun and fired several shots at the Jeep before driving away at a high rate of speed.
Two members of the police department’s Neighborhood Response Unit who were nearby on Indianola Avenue heard the shots and saw the SUV pulling out of the gas station east on East Dewey Avenue.
The officers tried to pull the SUV over, but it failed to stop and the officers gave chase as it turned north on Gibson Street.
At Gibson Street and Benwood Avenue, the SUV collided with a cement barrier on a bridge over Interstate 680 and the SUV flipped several times, throwing out the driver, who died.
A female passenger in the SUV was severely injured. One of the NRU officers put a tourniquet on her arm until an ambulance arrived. She is being treated at St. Elizabeth Health Center.
Body camera footage released by police shows the NRU officers stopping their vehicle and once they see the woman in the road, they immediately call for an ambulance and also get a tourniquet for her arm.
Although the footage is blurred, it appears the woman’s arm was severed.
“Please, please help me,” the woman can be heard saying. “You gotta save my life. Oh my God, oh my God.”
“Oh my God, I can’t believe it. Save my life. I got a 2-year-old.”
Police ask her if anyone else was in the car, and she said, “Just the two of us.”
Police have not released the name of the man who died. They are waiting for the Mahoning County Coroner’s Office to release the identity.
Police said they found a gun amid the wreckage of the SUV, which was strewn for two blocks.
The department’s Internal Affairs Division is investigating to determine if the NRU officers followed the department’s chase policy.
Neither the witness nor his son was hurt. Reports said police talked to them at a home at another location. The SUV had several bullet holes in it, reports said.
Police also recovered several shell casings at the gas station.
The Neighborhood Response Unit was created last year by Chief Carl Davis to run extra patrols in neighborhoods where police receive reports for an excessive amount of gunfire or where police make lots of gun arrests.