VILLAGE OF MOUNT PLEASANT, Wis. (AP) – After a daylong manhunt, a fugitive accused of abducting a woman from a southeastern Wisconsin hospital and fleeing from authorities in an exchange of gunfire shot himself Monday as officers closed in, police said.
Officers tracked the man to a home in the Village of Mount Pleasant outside of Racine and followed fresh footprints in the snow to where they found him hiding in bushes, authorities said. The man threatened to shoot himself with a handgun he had, Racine police said.
Despite intervention efforts, the man shot himself, police said. He was taken to a Milwaukee hospital, where his condition was unknown. No shots were fired by police, and no one else was hurt.
Several schools in Racine County canceled classes Monday as authorities searched fields, barns and other locations for the man they say abducted a female employee at Lakeview Specialty Hospital and Rehab near Rochester about 3 p.m. Sunday.
Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said deputies had a description of the man’s vehicle and it was spotted about an hour later at a Piggly Wiggly grocery store in nearby Union Grove.
As a squad car approached, the 20-year-old man fired several rounds, even with shoppers in the parking lot, Schmaling said. No one was shot.
“The suspect was located, he pulled a gun on my criminal investigator and shot at him,” Schmaling said. “My investigator returned fire and the suspect fled.”
As the man fled, he left the woman he had abducted in the parking lot. She was shaken, but unharmed, Schmaling said.
Officers from Racine, Caledonia, Mount Pleasant, Kenosha County and the Wisconsin State Patrol joined the manhunt in Union Grove, along with a helicopter from the police department in Winthrop Harbor, Illinois.
Union Grove High School and the elementary school, Raymond School District, Yorkville Elementary and Kansasville Elementary canceled classes Monday because of the manhunt.
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