A Des Plaines man died after being shot by police after a chase Friday that started with a traffic stop in southwest Illinois and ended in Missouri, according to police.
Jose H. Garcia, 49, of northwest suburban Des Plaines, was shot about 11:45 p.m. Friday in Eureka, a community southwest of St. Louis, after driving his car at police and pointing a gun at police officers, according to a news release from the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Earlier in the day, Garcia had been a passenger in a car that was stopped about 6:44 a.m. on northbound Int. Hwy. 55 in Macoupin County in Illinois by Illinois State Police Trooper James Holliday. The trooper said that the car had been stopped for a registration violation. He first interviewed the driver of the car, 33-year-old Robin C. Anderson, in his squad car and then went to the other car to talk to the passenger, Garcia.
Holliday said he asked Garcia to step out of the vehicle and Garcia instead slid over into the driver's seat and took off. Holliday, with the woman in his squad car, did not pursue, but did broadcast a message that Garcia was wanted for a traffic stop.
About 11 a.m., the vehicle, with Garcia behind the wheel of what police said is a Dodge passenger car, was spotted by police on westbound Int. Hwy. 44 near Pacific, Mo., and a chase began on the interstate. The vehicle took an exit and then began heading eastbound on Int. 44.
Near Exit 109, about 7 miles east of the initial contact, the vehicle ran over spike strips, puncturing its tires, and exited the highway at Missouri Hwy. 109, according to Missouri State Trooper Justin Wheetley. After driving into a residential area of Eureka, Garcia was boxed in at about 11:45 a.m., drove at the pursuing officers and pointed a gun at them, according to the release.
Officers fired at him, hitting him multiple times, the release said. He was transported to Mercy St. Louis hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:56 p.m. according to the St. Louis County medical examiner's office.
Heetley said that initially it was believed that Garcia's last known address was in Kentucky, but that it was later determined that he was living in Des Plaines.
Anderson, the woman who was initially driving the car with Garcia as a passenger, received traffic citations after the initial stop, according to Macoupin County Assistant State's Attorney Jordan Garrison. She was also wanted on a warrant out of Clark County in Southern Indiana, Garrison said, and will be transported there after the traffic citations in Macoupin have been taken care of.Copyright © 2015, RedEye