GREENVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- A 67-year-old man was shot and killed Tuesday night when he found himself in the path of a fugitive in the midst of a 100-mile police chase.
Gregory Price, who lives in Florissant, was returning home from a card game with friends in Panama, Illinois when suspect Leslie K. Austin attempted to steal his car.
Price, who retired from his job at the NGA three years ago, plays Euchre with friends every Tuesday and Wednesday night. He was coming home to his family sometime after 10 p.m. when he encountered Austin, who had been running from police for nearly three hours.
Shortly before 7:40 p.m. Tuesday, police in Jefferson City received calls for shots being fired in the area of 500 block of East Elm Street. The callers told police that a blue SUV was seen speeding away from the area.
Police said they spoke with witnesses, who helped them identify Austin, who lived in Jefferson County, as a suspect. No gunshot victims were found at any local hospitals
According to police, deputies in Franklin County spotted the blue SUV just after 9 p.m. on Highway 50 near Highway 47 and gave chase.
Austin's vehicle then reportedly sped down Interstate 44 into downtown St. Louis and went across the Poplar Street Bridge into Illinois around 9:35 p.m. According to authorities, an adult and child were kidnapped out of Jefferson City and able to escape Austin’s car when the chase was on Route 140 near Shore Creek in Illinois. Police said their escape was made possible after tire deflation devices stopped the vehicle.
After the victims escaped, Austin saw Price driving on Route 140 and attempted to carjack him. In the process, Austin shot and killed Price, but was unable to take his car.
Illinois State troopers said Austin continued firing at them after his failed attempt to take Price’s car and they fired back. Austin was found dead once the pursuit ended. Authorities said it is unknown if Austin died of a gunshot wound or if he was killed by shots fired by the officers.
When Price didn’t return at his normal time, his wife became worried and went out looking for him. It wasn’t until 3 a.m. her family was informed of his death. Price also leaves behind a 28-year-old son.