Indiana fugitive killed in shootout with police in Tennessee

Shane Townsley (Provided Photo)

RICKMAN, Tenn. (WLFI) – A Lafayette fugitive, who was killed following a shootout and pursuit in Tennessee, has been identified.

Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation responded to the scene Thursday afternoon. The town is located about 90 miles northeast of Nashville.

Around 10 a.m. authorities began pursuing a wanted felon, identified as Shane David Townsley, after developing information that he was in the area. Townsley was wanted in connection with felony warrants in Indiana. The subject, apparently armed with a semi-automatic rifle, fired at deputies multiple times during the chase. The scene stretched more than a mile. At one point, he ditched the car at another location and ran into the woods.

According to the TBI, he broke into a home and held a couple at gunpoint, while he demanded keys to their truck. He fled the area in the stolen truck and encountered officers again, where more shots were fired. The pursuit came to an end after the suspect crashed the vehicle into a ravine off the side of the road.

The manner in which Townsley died was still unclear. It was not known whether he was fatally wounded from deputy gunfire or from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. One deputy received minor injuries from broken glass which shattered after a bullet struck the windshield of the patrol car. No additional injuries were reported.

Lafayette Police are not commenting at this time if Townsley is the man wanted in connection to the murder of Wes Ehrie. Police originally were searching for William Morrissey in connection to Ehrie’s murder, but have since cleared him as a person of interest. Police say the shooting is believed to have happened over a property dispute.

Lafayette Police are holding a press conference later Friday  to release more information about the shooting.

The incident remains under investigation.

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