Police chase shooting suspect for 24 miles and stop traffic in - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Police chase shooting suspect for 24 miles and stop traffic in Colfax

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John Lee was arrested after a 24 mile high speed pursuit with police John Lee was arrested after a 24 mile high speed pursuit with police
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COLFAX, Wash. -

In a high speed pursuit, police say 29-year-old John Lee, suspected of shooting 4 people killing 3 in Moscow, led them on a 24 mile high speed chase Saturday afternoon.

Shortly after the shootings were reported, the Moscow Police Department put out an alert on a 2009 black Honda Fit which matched the description of the suspect's car. Near the Latah County, Idaho and Whitman County line in Washington, Pullman police started following a car matching that description when the chase began. Police say the alleged shooter, John Lee led them on a chase through Pullman, Colfax and along Highway 195 for about 24 miles with speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour before crashing his car.

At one point Colfax police stopped traffic along 195 to try and keep drivers safe during the chase. 

Frances Hampton was one of several drivers stopped on the road by police near Colfax. She and her husband were heading home to Genesee, Idaho from Spokane. 

"A police car passed us, we pulled over then he pulled to make a road block.," Hampton said. "Then he pulled out to get his rifle, then we knew something scary was going on." 

Hampton said about a half dozen cars were stopped along the road.

"All of the a sudden this black car went flying through the road block, probably 55-60 down Main Street and about 15 to 20 police cars chasing him."

Along the route Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins says police were stopping traffic and trying to warn drivers of the chase. 

"It was foggy, you had bad road conditions. There were a number of things that could have gone wrong. With all the things that could have happened and none of them did, it was a successful event from our perspective," Jenkins concluded.

Jenkins said that while speaking to the fact that no officers, innocent passers by, and not even the suspect were seriously injured during the pursuit after crashing his car. Jenkins said that officers tried to deploy spike strips just outside of Colfax to try and stop Lee but were unable to get them deployed.

 Police say Lee crashed his car just south of Steptoe, Washington and was not the result of any pit maneuver, but rather Lee crashed on his own. Officers from the Pullman Police, Colfax Police, Whitman County Deputies and the Washington State Patrol assisted in the chase.

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