Suspect found dead after pursuit

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A man wanted in connection with a Miami County shooting was reportedly found dead in his vehicle from a self-inflicted gunshot wound early Saturday, June 29 after Fayette County Sheriff’s Office deputies pursued his vehicle on U.S. Route 35.

At around 3 a.m., the FCSO received information that the armed suspect was possibly traveling through Fayette County, according to Sheriff Vernon Stanforth. Deputies responded to the area of U.S. 35 east near the Fayette/Greene County line to attempt to locate the vehicle the suspect was last known to be in.

Around 3:14 a.m., a deputy located the vehicle, a silver Toyota Tundra, traveling eastbound on U.S. 35 at approximately mile marker 82, according to Stanforth. As other deputies were able to respond, they attempted to stop the vehicle around the 90 mile marker. The Tundra reportedly continued for about a mile before it came to a stop.

Deputies attempted to make contact with the driver over their loud speakers, but received no response. Because the driver did not cooperate, the FCSO requested assistance from the Ross County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

After a short period of having no contact with the driver, a helicopter from the Ohio State Highway Patrol Aviation Unit responded and was able to get close enough to the vehicle to advise deputies that the driver was slumped over the wheel and had blood coming from his head area.

At that time, the deputies and troopers on the ground approached the vehicle and were able to confirm that the driver was deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Stanforth said.

Investigation provided that the driver, later identified as Douglas Smith, 52, of Troy, was the shooting suspect out of Miami County. The Fayette County Coroner’s Office later responded to the scene to assist with the investigation.

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