Alabama man dies after chase across Gulf Coast

Published 8:22 pm Wednesday, November 8, 2006

A 26-year-old man wanted by Alabama authorities apparently killed himself Monday as police closed in at the end of a 50-mile chase.

Edward Storer of Theodore, Ala., apparently shot himself in the head while speeding down Interstate 10 near Slidell. His sport utility vehicle then hit a guardrail, said Capt. George Bonnett of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Bonnett said authorities later were told Storer was wanted for murder in Alabama. However, court officials in Mobile County said records show no murder warrant against Storer. A Mobile County sheriff’s spokesman said Storer had a probation violation charge pending.

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Monday’s chase began when a Mississippi sheriff’s deputy stopped a white 2006 Hyundai Tucson with New York license plates for a traffic violation on I-10 in Harrison County.

The driver sped off. The deputy chased the SUV more than 30 miles to the Louisiana border, calling on the radio for help.

Traffic was too heavy for Louisiana State Police to put spike strips across the highway near the state line, said Trooper Louis Calato, a spokesman for Troop L.

The vehicle traveled about six miles into St. Tammany Parish, made a jog onto Interstate 59 and returned to I-10 heading east toward Mississippi before the crash.

An autopsy was scheduled Tuesday, said Mark Lombard, chief investigator for the St. Tammany Parish coroner’s office.

A gun was found inside the vehicle. Authorities planned tests to determine whether it was the weapon used in the apparent suicide, Bonnett said.

The chase involved about two dozen officers from four agencies, including Louisiana State Police and sheriff’s offices in Harrison County, Hancock County and St. Tammany Parish.