UNIONTOWN (KDKA) – One person is in custody and another is dead after shots were fired during a police pursuit, prompting a lengthy standoff on Friday in Fayette County.
The man who was holed up in a Center Avenue home in North Union Township for most of the day was found dead late Friday night. It appears he may have been the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Donald Brown entered the home around noon after the truck he was driving crashed into another house nearby.
The crash followed a police chase, during which shots were fired from the truck at a marked state police cruiser.
KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti Reports:
The truck was being pursued after a theft on state game land property in Ohiopyle.
A woman in the truck with Brown, Jessica Phillips, surrendered to police.
She’s facing charges that include attempted homicide.
Phillips is jailed on $1 million bond.
Corey Swetz was working at an auto glass store close by where the chase happened on North Gallatin Street Extension in Uniontown.
“I saw police telling everybody to get back,” said Swetz, a witness. “They put on their bulletproof vests, and [were] pulling out shotguns and AR-15s and stuff.”
It all began around noon at Ohiopyle with police chasing the truck. A be-on-the-lookout alert was issued, and state police picked up the pursuit on Bute Road.
A back window on the truck was slid open and the truck’s occupants started firing at the troopers.
The truck’s driver failed to negotiate a curve.
“They had police barricade-type things,” said Swetz. “I saw a truck that was into a house.”
After crashing their truck, the man and woman were seen running into another house where they barricaded themselves inside.
Katie Nairn, a clerk at the nearby Dollar General, says troopers came in telling all customers to leave.
“It was very nerve-wracking, and that was my first time working in the store,” said Nairn. “We just locked down and we stocked the store, stayed away from the windows.”
KDKA’s Mary Robb Jackson Reports:
For a time, police were worried that an elderly woman in the house with the couple was being held hostage, but that proved to be incorrect. She was safe with a neighbor.
A man and woman were taken into custody. Police are pretty sure that the woman is their suspect, but the man they had was mistakenly picked up in the confusion and released.
A special enforcement response team was called scene.