Sometime during the traffic enforcement stop, the passenger pushed Reed out of the sedan, took control of the vehicle and fled the scene traveling southbound on U.S. 95 towards Hawthorne in Mineral County. As the vehicle approached the north side of Hawthorne, the driver made a u-turn and proceeded to travel northbound on the same highway. Mineral County deputies joined the pursuit until the Mineral-Lyon county line north of Schurz. Once there, Mineral deputies discontinued the pursuit and the tribal police re-engaged the fleeing vehicle. At that time, the DPS Communication Center received a request for assistance and deputies with the Churchill County Sheriff’s Office were responding to assist from the Fallon area.
The fleeing driver fired a handgun several times at pursuing officers as the vehicle pursuit continued northbound on U.S. 95 towards Fallon. As the pursuit reached the south end of Fallon, one of the Churchill County deputies received an injury to his face when one of the rounds fired by the fleeing driver struck the windshield of his patrol vehicle. It was unclear if the injury was caused by a fragment from a bullet or from a shard of glass from the patrol vehicle’s windshield. The deputy, identified as Ken Caitlin, was transported to Banner Churchill Community Hospital in Fallon where he was treated and released for a facial injury.
The fleeing driver caused two other motorists on the highway to become involved in two separate vehicle accidents. No one was injured in either of those events.
As the fleeing driver approached the intersection of Taylor Street and U.S. 95, within the city limits of Fallon, the fleeing driver crossed the center turn lane and collided head-on into a gold Hyundai 4-door sedan traveling southbound. That vehicle was being driven by a 75-year-old Richland, Mo., man who sustained fatal injuries in that collision and was pronounced dead at the scene.
After the collision, the driver who had been fleeing from officers fired more bullets from his handgun at the officers. Officers returned fire at the driver and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The area of the collision and shooting is being handled as a crime scene which caused the closure of U.S. 95 and Taylor Road in Fallon most of Thursday. That roadway is fully open since about 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
Troopers from the Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, Major Accident Investigation Scene completed the mapping of the collision and crime scene area; however, the criminal investigation is being conducted by the Department of Public Safety Investigation Division with the assistance of the Washoe County Forensic Investigation Section.
Witnesses or anyone with additional information about this case are encouraged to call Detective Will Thurston of the DPS-Investigation Division in Carson City at 775-684-7408.