Florida Sheriff on Suspect Shooting - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/03/06

Florida Sheriff on Suspect Shooting

A massive manhunt which started after a convenience store shooting in Effingham County ended last night in a deadly shootout in Florida. Investigators say 37-year-old William Ashby was killed near St. Augustine, Florida, after wrecking his car and shooting at officers.

Investigators say Ashby walked in to Mighty Mike's convenience store last week on Old River road in Eden and shot store clerk Waynetta Toler in the head from point-blank range. She survived, but Ashby got away.

Until last night. Police were able to finally catch him in St. John's County, Florida. Ashby crashed his car near Highway 16 and apparently crawled out shooting. Deputies fired back, killing Ashby.

A spokesperson from the St. John's County Sheriff's Office said Ashby led police on a high-speed chase, topping 110 miles per hour, along Interstate 95 before crashing.

"We opened fire because he had a gun in his hand and wouldn't drop it when law enforcement told him to, so it was a combination of things," said Sheriff David Shoar. "You have a homicide suspect, you got a homicide suspect who is not complying with commands of law enforcement."

The shooting in Effingham County wasn't the only thing Ashby was wanted for. Over the weekend, police in Virginia linked him to the killing of a University of Virginia grad student. Authorities think Ashby shot 22-year-old Elizabeth Hafter, who had been missing since Friday, and stole her car.

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