ISP: MO suspect dead after abduction, deadly shooting and pursuit, stopped in IL

2 dead in kidnapping, carjacking chase

(KFVS) - Several departments took part in a chase from Missouri into Illinois early Wednesday morning on Feb. 13.

Jefferson City Police Department officials released information stating at 7:38 p.m. they received several shots fired calls from the 500 block of East Elm St. The callers reported seeing a blue SUV drive east at a high rate of speed.

According to officers when they arrived they recovered multiple shell casings and broken glass that confirmed a weapons violation had occurred. Officials said they interviewed witnesses and identified the suspect and victim.

The suspect was identified as 39-year-old Leslie K. Austin of Jefferson City, Mo.

Austin led law enforcement on a pursuit from Missouri into Illinois (Source: Jefferson City Police Department)
Austin led law enforcement on a pursuit from Missouri into Illinois (Source: Jefferson City Police Department) (Source: Jefferson City Police Department)

There were no gunshot victims reported at hospitals in the Jefferson City area consistent with the time of the weapons call.

According to officials, other law enforcement agencies were notified of the circumstances and asked to help in locating the blue SUV.

Communications was notified that a Franklin County Missouri deputy located a similar vehicle and attempted to conduct a traffic stop. That vehicle failed to yield and a pursuit began including members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

While chasing the SUV law enforcement reported multiple shots fired from the suspect vehicle.

The chase continued onto Interstate 44, east to St. Louis County, St. Louis City and eventually the vehicle crossed state lines into Illinois where Illinois State Police took over the pursuit.

Illinois State Police District 11 Commander, Cpt. Timothy Tyler said it started at 9:34 p.m. Tuesday night when Missouri law enforcement officers pursued Austin over the Poplar Street Bridge into Illinois.

Illinois State Police said once they were involved the vehicle continues to fail and continued firing a pursuing officers.

Cpt. Tyler said Austin was wanted in an alleged kidnapping and shooting. Austin was accused of kidnapping 33-year-old Danielle Smith and her 10-year-old daughter of Jefferson City, Mo.

Officials said they believe Austin and Smith were in a relationship. Austin’s relationship to the child is unknown.

Smith and the child were able to escape during the pursuit on Route 140 according to Cpt. Tyler. Jefferson City officials said they were able to escape as a result of tire deflation devices. They were given immediate treatment at the scene.

Smith had multiple gunshot wounds when the two were found by police but is expected to live. The child was unharmed and is now with family.

After Smith and her child escaped, Austin attempted to carjack 67-year-old Gregory Price of Florissant, Mo. Cpt. Tyler said Price was killed during the carjacking on a two lane road near Shoal Creek.

Moments later ISP says Austin attempted to car jack a second vehicle without success.

Bond County Illinois deputies said they were asked by state police to deploy stop sticks on the suspect’s vehicle if it entered their county.

Cpt. Tyler said the state of Illinois has strict pursuit policies and the officers involved were in compliance with those policies.

Deputies said the stop sticks were deployed by a Bond County Deputy on IL. RT. 140 near the Bond/Madison County line.

According to deputies after deploying the stop sticks Austin was able to avoid them. State police continued to pursue the vehicle at a slow speed.

Austin flee from the scene onto Terrapin Ridge Rd. then West onto Old Nebo Rd. where he got out of the vehicle down to a dead end where he began to fire at officers. ISP Cpt. Tyler said the officers fired back.

Cpt. Tyler said Austin died at the scene but it is unknown if he died from the officers’ fire or from a self inflicted gunshot wound.

There are three active crime scenes in this investigation at this time. Cpt. Tyler said those include the scene where a Fermont City Police Department vehicle was shot, the area where Price was killed in an attempted car jacking and the scene where Austin was killed.

The investigation is ongoing and autopsies are scheduled.

Police have minimal information to share on the Missouri portion of this incident at this time.

According to Cpt. Tyler the departments worked closely together to get the best information on the incident as well as the best trauma and medical care for Smith and her family.

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