Man suspected of killing 3 in 2 states still eluding police
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A man who fired shots at police in South Carolina during a chase Monday is a suspect in three killings in two states and has stolen clothes and a gun as he eluded police for three days, authorities said.
About 100 officers have been looking for Tyler Terry, 27, since he ran from the wrecked car he was a passenger in late Monday night in Chester County.
While officers, dogs, helicopters and drones have searched for Terry in woods, neighborhoods and industrial areas, investigators working outside the search area have linked him to a May 2 killing in South Carolina, two killings outside of St. Louis, Missouri, on Saturday and two additional shootings in recent weeks.
The woman driving Terry, Adrienne Simpson, 34 was taken into custody after crashing following the 30-mile (48-kilometer) chase that reached speeds of 100 mph (160 kph).
The story took another twist after Simpson’s husband, Eugene, was found dead Wednesday in a ditch, Chester County Coroner Terry Tinker said. He had been missing since at least May 2. Tinker ruled the death a homicide but was awaiting autopsy results to determine the cause of death.
Police linked Terry and Simpson to the Missouri killings through a stolen license plate, other surveillance camera footage and testimony from people who sold the pair drugs while they were in the area, said Joseph Spiess Jr., chief of the Brentwood, Missouri, police department.
Investigators are heading to South Carolina before they formally charge Terry and Simpson. Police haven’t determined why they were in St. Louis, Spiess said.
“The way this appears is a modern day version of Bonnie and Clyde do several violent crimes in South Carolina and traveled across the country. What they did between South Carolina and Missouri, we don’t know yet,” Spiess said at a news conference Thursday.
While Simpson was behind bars, Terry was still being sought. He was seen under an Interstate 77 bridge 12 miles (19 kilometers) away from crash in York County on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
Terry was back in Chester County about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the crash site Thursday, where he was seen on surveillance video stealing a gun, shirt and shoes from an unlocked work truck, investigators said.
Schools have been placed on lockdown and officers have urged people in the area to stay inside and lock their doors in an area with a lot of places to search and perhaps have a dangerous encounter with officers or the public.
“It’s got everything — wooded areas, creeks, roads, schools, lots of abandoned buildings, sheds — lots of places he could hide. That’s why we have so many people here,” York County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Trent Faris told reporters Wednesday.
Terry was initially charged with two counts of attempted murder for shooting at Chester County deputies during the late Monday night chase. One bullet lodged in the windshield of a deputy’s cruiser just above the steering wheel. She was not hurt and kept chasing, Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey said.
Since then, authorities issued a murder warrant against Terry for the killing of a person found inside a York home and five attempted murder warrants for two separate shootings in Chester County all on May 2. Investigators did not immediately release details on those incidents or how they were linked to Terry.
In Missouri, Terry and Simpson are believed to have shot Dr. Sergei Zacharev during a Saturday night robbery in a restaurant parking lot, and then shot Barbara Goodkin about 45 minutes later as she sat in her car, using the same weapon in each shooting, Spiess said.
The pair were in the same car with the same stolen plate when the deputy pulled up to them Monday night in South Carolina, authorities said.
Simpson was arrested after the chase in South Carolina and initially charged with failure to stop for a blue light. Police have since added a charge of accessory after the fact against Simpson for the killing in York. Jail records did not indicate if she had a lawyer who could comment on her behalf.
Seven detectives from Missouri were flying to South Carolina to question her Thursday about the other killings.