Chase Ends in Shooting

Chase Ends in Shooting What began as a case of road rage ended with police shooting a man along a South Jersey highway after an all-night pursuit.

That chase came to a deadly conclusion after a gun battle in Dennis Township in Cape May County along Route 9, near Sea Isle Boulevard.

Authorities said that at some points during the chase, the suspect was driving more than 70 mph, but for most of the 12 hours they pursued him, he remained at mid-level speeds.

"They had their guns drawn, and we went back upstairs, and then about quarter after 5 we heard a couple of shots. We thought it was a machine gun. It was quick," said Mike Rutledge, a witness.

The pursuit started Wednesday evening in Collings Lake after a reported road rage incident. About 1:40 Thursday morning, the suspect led police along the Atlantic County Expressway, the Garden State Parkway, Route 22 and then onto Route 9, where he was cornered at a Shell gas station. After an hour of police trying to get the suspect to surrender, he made a move.

"The responding troopers, when he did exit the vehicle, observed a handgun and took defensive action," said Sgt. John Hagerty, of the New Jersey State Police.

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The man was in his late 20s to early 30s, but authorities are not yet releasing his name. Twenty troopers at the scene are being questioned about the shooting, along with whether the suspect was involved in various crimes throughout the night, including an attempted robbery and a hit-and-run.


Author: Copyright 2004 by NBC10.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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