What started as a routine traffic stop Wednesday, May 27, ended in a three-county chase in Upstate New York, and a shootout that left a truck driver dead.
The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reports, “The incident started in LeRoy, Genesee County, when a police officer stopped the driver for speeding on West Main Street. LeRoy Village Police Chief Chris Hayward said that the driver refused to follow the officer’s directions and drove away while an officer was still on the truck, forcing the officer to jump off the moving vehicle.”
LeRoy is located about 25 miles southwest of Rochester and several miles south of the New York State Thruway.
Police pursued the driver, who authorities identified as Joshua Blessed, a 58-year-old resident of Virginia, at slow and normal speeds. The trucker shot at and struck several police cars, and also rammed others, according to numerous media reports. One police car was struck by bullets 20 times, according to police.
The chase ended when the suspect left Interstate 390 at Exit 8 where he was shot at by police. The truck left the highway and stopped in a field. Police took Blessed into custody and he died later of gunshot wounds.
Police continue their investigation.