Suspect in chase, shootings, took own life


    Leslie K. Austin took his own life after being confronted by Illinois State Police in Bond County Tuesday night after a 150-mile chase beginning in Jefferson City.

    The suspect involved in Tuesday's police chase that left two dead and one woman fighting for her life died by his own hand when confronted by police.

    According to the Illinois State Police, 39-year-old Leslie K. Austin, the suspected kidnapper, drove a Jefferson City woman and her child across state lines in a high-speed pursuit that stretched for more than 150 miles Tuesday night. The woman, who was identified by police as Danielle Smith, and her child were able to escape the vehicle, but Smith did sustain multiple gun shot wounds from which she is still recovering.

    Dating back to 2014, KRCG 13 archives showed Austin faced multiple charges after police say he assaulted his girlfriend, drove off with their young daughter and led law enforcement on a chase.

    Last week, an Order of Protection was issued by Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green ordering Austin not to stalk, molest, abuse, communicate with or be within 100 feet of anywhere the protected person may be or reside. The order confirms that Austin and the petitioner have a child in common.

    Tuesday, Austin allegedly kidnapped Smith and their daughter and fled into Illinois, killing a Florissant resident along the way as Austin tried to steal his car.

    As the pursuit ended in Bond County, Illinois, Austin fired shots at state police, who returned fire. The suspect ultimately died from gunshot wounds.

    An autopsy has now determined that Austin died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

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