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Suspect In Columbus Police Shooting Dies From Injuries
Updated October 2, 2017 8:16 AM
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(COLUMBUS) - A Columbus man is dead after an attempted traffic stop led to a car chase, manhunt and eventually a shootout on Saturday.

The suspect has been identified as 44-year-old Quentin Starke of Bartholomew County.

Sgt. Jerry Goodin with the Indiana State Police says that police from multiple agencies were searching woods near a gravel road off of County Road 200 S. when a state trooper came across Starke trying to hide in the secluded area. Starke allegedly pulled out a rifle and fired at the trooper, who returned fire.

Goodin said it is not yet clear whether Starke was killed by a shot from the trooper or his own gun. An autopsy will be performed by the Dearborn County coroner's office.

"This started out as a simple traffic stop. A simple traffic stop leads to someone losing their life," says Indiana State Police Sgt. Jerry Goodin. "Two officers 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 44-year-old Starke, around 4:30 a.m. Saturday in downtown Columbus near the intersection of 11th Street and Washington.

Starke fled the scene and Bartholomew County deputies deployed tire deflation devices near Garden City on State Road 11 which police believe the driver struck. He turned off onto County Road 200 S, near a water treatment plant and stopped in a field and ran from the vehicle.

There Starke pulled out a rifle and shot at McCrary, injuring him. He was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital for treatment and was released. State Police say they do not yet know whether McCrary was hit by the bullet, or debris from Starke's shot.

"He 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 trooper found Starke hiding in some woods across a river and not far from the original shooting scene around noon.

"When this encounter took place Quentin Starke fired at the trooper," Goodin said. "The trooper was not hit, was not injured. The trooper returned fire, during that exchange of gunfire. 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.

There was a delay in identifying the body because Bartholomew County Coroner Clayton Nolting is a Columbus police officer, as are several of his deputies. And those that are not police officers are friends with the Columbus police officers.

That led the state police to call in an outside coroner's office to handle the death scene and subsequent autopsy, Goodin said.

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