PANAMA, IL - Friends of 67-year-old Gregory Price are heartbroken over how the Florissant man’s life came to an end. Price was an innocent bystander as an abduction suspect who wounded his ex-girlfriend led police on a chase the started in Jefferson City, Mo and ended near Greenville, IL Tuesday night. Police believe the suspect, Leslie Austin, shot and killed Price near Greenville in a carjacking attempt.
“He’ll be missed,” said Laura Melton. “He was a very nice man.”
Melton is a bartender at VFW Post 6628 in Panama, IL. She said Price was playing cards Tuesday night before leaving and heading for home. He came to Illinois because of family connections, according to Melton.
“He would get here, have his few sodas, plays his cards and go home,” said Melton. “He loved to play cards.”
Police say Austin was eventually killed, either by his own gunfire or by police gunfire. Austin lived in Jefferson City. He was recently served an order of protection by his ex-girlfriend. Police say Austin shot her in Jefferson City, abducted her and her 10-year-old daughter who was not harmed. The two managed to escape more than 100 miles later as Austin led police on a chase into Bond County, IL. The wounded ex-girlfriend was taken to an area hospital and was still alive.