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One dead, one injured in Ohio 7 chase, shooting

Man was holding woman at gunpoint when shot by troopers

OHIO DEPARTMENT of Transportation employee Scott Porter of Morristown stands at a roadblock on Ohio 7 south of Shadyside on Thursday. The road was closed due to a fatality.

POWHATAN POINT — Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers shot a man who was holding a woman at gunpoint following a high-speed chase on Ohio 7 on Thursday morning.

Sgt. Nathan Dennis, public information officer with the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said the woman, identified as Kristen Lee McCoy, 34, of Greenville, Pennsylvania, suffered a shoulder injury in the incident and was being treated at Wheeling Hospital. Dennis said he did not yet know if the injury was a result of gunfire aimed at the man who was holding her.

The man, identified as Joshua Franklin Roberts, 41 of Meadville, Pennsylvania, died at the scene.

The incident began at the Fly, Ohio, rest stop. At 8:48 a.m., a vehicle being driven by McCoy, a 2013 Ford Expedition, came back as stolen when its license plate was checked by the OSP.

Police say that when a trooper tried to get the vehicle to stop, it sped away, leading the OSP, Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and Powhatan Point Police Department on a high-speed chase that lasted 19 minutes. At times, the vehicle was traveling more than 100 mph on Ohio 7 north.

The vehicle was finally stopped when troopers used stop sticks on the roadway that deflated the vehicle’s tires. When the vehicle came to a stop, troopers told the people to exit. When they did, however, Roberts was holding McCoy at gunpoint.

The suspects continued to approach the troopers despite being told to stop, at which point troopers shot Roberts, who fell to the ground and was apprehended. Troopers tried to administer first aid, but Roberts was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dennis added that they did not know if McCoy was possibly being held against her will prior to the pursuit.

“We will be interviewing her and ask her that. We don’t know sure whether that’s what was going on or not,” he said.

Dennis said no officers were injured in the pursuit, and no other vehicles were struck, either.

McCoy was treated and released from Wheeling Hospital and was subsequently arrested on unrelated active warrants issued in Pennsylvania. The patrol said she now faces additional charges as a result of the Thursday incident. She was lodged at the Belmont County Jail.

Meanwhile, Powhatan Elementary Principal Zac Housley said Thursday that his school did not receive a call from law enforcement about the situation and did not know about it at the time it was happening.

He said typically if law enforcement believes a school needs informed about a situation or to lockdown it will call the school. Powhatan Elementary is located about a mile from Ohio 7.

He said because of the temporary closure of Ohio 7, bus routes were impacted for the afternoon runs.

“Belmont County 911 did contact us and told us the road would still be closed this afternoon,” Housley said on Thursday.

Martins Ferry Police Chief John McFarland said his department was not directly involved with the incident, but like many other departments along Ohio 7 — including Shadyside, Bellaire and Bridgeport — was ready to act if necessary.

“We were starting to set up road spikes at Aetna Street,” McFarland said of the road that intersects with Ohio 7. “We were all getting ready to assist in any way we could.”

Ohio 7, between Powhatan Point and the Moundsville Bridge, was reopened to traffic at about 3 p.m. Thursday, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

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