ST. LOUIS — A carjacking led to a multi-county police chase on I-55. Police and the suspect exchanged gunfire during a standoff. The suspect is dead and the southbound lanes of the highway will be shut down for several hours. Traffic is backed up for miles in both directions.
The suspect has been identified as Jarrod Kershaw, 31, of Pacific, MO. Police say he is describes as a white male and was wearing a tactical vest during the entire incident.
St. Louis County Police say they went to the area of southbound I-270 and I-55 for a report of a crash at around 9am. A vehicle was driving erratically and ran off the road and concerned people were rushing to the area to help the accident victim.
Kershaw is accused of holding up a Good Samaritan up with a shotgun. St. Louis County Police say he demanded that person, and his family, give up their vehicle. They say he then kidnapped the family in the vehicle. But, he was not able to steal their vehicle because it is a stick shift.
The suspect then walked to another vehicle. He was able to carjack it and drive it away. The suspect then drove southbound I-55.
Police received a call from Kershaw's mother at around the same time. She said he was heading to her home in DeSoto to kill a family member and then himself. He recently had made several threats to coworkers and family members.
A description of the vehicle that the suspect was driving was sent to police. They recognized the car and the chase went into Jefferson County.
Three separate law enforcement agencies used stop-sticks to try to disable the suspect's vehicle. The suspect's vehicle drove over the sticks placed on the highway. There was a standoff with police after the vehicle was disabled around mile-marker 171.
St. Louis County Police say that there was an exchange of gunfire. Kershaw fired at police after the vehicle drove over the stop strips. There are bullet holes visible in one St. Louis County cruiser. Police returned fire, hitting the suspect's vehicle.
The SWAT team moved in the area of the vehicle to assess the situation. They found the suspect dead at the scene.
Southbound I-55 is closed at the 170 mile-maker while police investigate. Traffic is backed up for miles. Police say the interstate will be shut down for several hours. Check the latest road conditions here: FOX2Now.com/Traffic
Several vehicles were hit during the police pursuit. They have been taken to the QuikTrip in Herculaneum.
Police are not sure what he was doing in St. Louis County. They hope there are no other tragic events surrounding this suspect's actions.
UPDATE: Northbound I-55 is open to traffic near Herculaneum, MO. Southbound lanes are expected to be closed for hours.