CROWN POINT | A homicide suspect was airlifted to a Chicago-area trauma center Friday after suffering a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a multicounty police chase that ended on an I-65 ramp, police said.
A preliminary investigation by Indiana State Police revealed the man — whose name was withheld Friday pending notification of the family — was involved in a homicide earlier in Knox.
He left the home in a personal vehicle and carjacked two other vehicles in two locations in Starke County, according to a statement from Indiana State Police.
After he carjacked the last vehicle, a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee, he drove west on Ind. 8 until the Jeep broke down in front of a home in the 200 block of West Ind. 8 in Porter County. Two people leaving the home in a 1988 GMC Sierra pickup truck stopped to help him, and the man implied he had a weapon and stole the Sierra, state police said.
The two people were not hurt and called 911 at 4:04 p.m. to report the incident.
Hebron police saw the Sierra at Ind. 8 and 600 South and began a pursuit, which the Porter County Sheriff's Department joined, state police said.
After crossing many county roads, the pursuit headed west on 109th Avenue. By then, the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and its aircraft, Eagle One, had joined the pursuit.
Stop sticks were deployed by Crown Point police at Maine Drive and 109th Avenue. The Sierra drove over the sticks, causing two of the tires to deflate, state police said.
Indiana State Police shut down the interchange of 109th and Interstate 65 during this time, police said.
The man headed north on the I-65 southbound-to-109th exit and tried to make a U-turn to continue south on I-65 when he lost control. The Sierra got stuck in the gravel between the interstate and the ramp, state police said.
As officers closed in, the driver shot himself once, police said. He was taken to Franciscan St. Anthony Health hospital in Crown Point and later airlifted to Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, in critical condition. Indiana State Police are assisting in the Knox homicide investigation. No further information was available Friday night about the Knox homicide.
The Lake County Police crime lab is assisting state police, Lake County Deputy Police Chief Dan Murchek said.