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St. Joseph man dies after traffic violation turns into a chase

Officials said the suspect’s death was not a result of the car crash.

Posted: Aug 21, 2020 4:25 PM
Updated: Aug 24, 2020 7:45 AM

(DEKALB COUNTY, Mo.) A St. Joseph man is dead after a traffic violation turned into a hot pursuit.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, it all started last night at 10:45 p.m. in Gentry Count. Troopers said the county deputy tried pulling Shiloh D. Smith, 35, over for a traffic violation and that’s when Smith allegedly started shooting at the deputy.

Officials said the deputy did return fire and the MSHP said Smith fired numerous shots at the deputy throughout the chase.

According to troopers, the chase continued into DeKalb County where Smith’s vehicle crashed.

MSHP said in those split-second decisions like this one, officers have to think critically and quickly.

“Well, obviously the deputy and every officer, you fall back on your training. The deputy was being fired upon and obviously returned fire. At that point, the suspect, his intentions are clear. An officer relies on their training and acts accordingly,” said Srgt. Jake Angle, Missouri State Highway Patrol. 

Troopers said the Gentry County deputy was the only officer involved in the pursuit until the last minute when a Missouri State Highway Trooper briefly joined before the crash.

Officials said the suspect’s death was not a result of the car crash.

This is still an ongoing investigation and more information is expected early next week. 

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Dangerous heat will move into the area today with highs reaching the upper 90s to triple digits. Heat index values will likely be between 100-106. Use caution when spending time outside this afternoon. Hot and humid conditions will continue on Friday with highs back in the upper 90s and lower 100s with heat index values reaching triple digits. A cold front will move through the area Friday afternoon into the evening bringing the chance for a few showers and thunderstorms. Scattered rain chances will continue through the weekend with highs in the lower 90s. Highs in the 80s will return for the beginning of next week.
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