Video shows high speed police chase of double homicide suspect through Lawrence
A “very dangerous suspect” in a double homicide fired at police several times during a dramatic high speed chase through Lawrence before coming to an end on Kansas 10, according to video released by the Lawrence Police Department on Monday.
“You’re looking at a high energy car chase,” said Lawrence Police Chief Rich Lockhart said during a news conference. “You’re looking at someone who’s fired shots at officers — a very dangerous suspect. He’s already, we believe, killed two people.”
The department released the video in response to requests for dash and body camera video of the July 31 pursuit ending in the arrest of 51-year-old Rodney E. Marshall of Lawrence.
Marshall has been charged in Douglas County District Court with two counts of first-degree murder in back-to-back killings of 52-year-old Shelby McCoy and 43-year-old William Dale O’Brien.
He is accused of shooting McCoy around 1 a.m. in the 1100 block of Tennessee Street in Lawrence. McCoy died later died at a hospital.
Shortly after the first shooting, police were sent to investigate the second one a few streets over in the 300 block of Northwood Lane, where they found O’Brien. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Marshall has also been charged with one count of attempted first-degree murder as well as five counts of attempted capital murder for allegedly firing shots at officers during the chase.
“Typically when you see these car chases, they don’t look too good at the end,” Lockhart said. “This one looks really good at the end and we used some really unique things to be able to safely capture the suspect and his passenger.”
Speeds around 100 mph
The chase began when officers spotted the suspect in the 900 block of Lawrence Avenue. When officers tried to pull Marshall over, he sped away. The chase reached speeds of 60 to 70 mph through residential neighborhoods and downtown Lawrence.
“It’s very early in the morning, about 6:20 in the morning, so there’s not a lot of traffic out,” Lockhart said as he narrated the chase video. “The speeds do get pretty high.”
During the chase, other officers blocked intersections in the downtown area to keep innocent bystanders safe.
At one point, a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper took the lead in the chase in an attempt to get into position to do a “tactical vehicle intervention,” also known as a PIT maneuver. Marshall swerved back and forth, keeping the trooper from getting too close.
“This is a situation where we know this person potentially killed two people,” Lockhart said. “He’s a very big danger to the public so we’re going to chase them until we get him in custody.”
Marshall allegedly fired shots and the trooper hit a curb trying to avoid them, disabling his patrol car. The chase continued through Lawrence and eventually reached Kansas 10 from Haskell Avenue, where he allegedly fired more shots.
Once on K-10, speeds climbed to around 100 mph. Meanwhile, Lawrence police were in contact with other agencies. Marshall allegedly fired shots at Eudora officers.
Shortly thereafter, Eudora officers used stop sticks to deflate the tires on the pickup, which caused Marshall to slow down and eventually stop in the left lane.
“Driver. Face away,” an officer is heard commanding Marshall. “Step out. Walk straight backwards. If you try to run away, you’ll be bit by the dog.”
Once Marshall was close enough, officers commanded him to stop, get on the ground and hold his arms out “like an airplane.” He’s then told to cross his legs and put his arms behind his back. Once he complied, officers rushed forward and handcuffed him, taking him into custody.
Police also took a passenger into custody, but she has not been charged with anything in the incident, Lockhart said.
Police declined to answer questions about the investigation into the homicides.
“Any pursuit that you’re involved in is dangerous and that’s why we’re constantly evaluating the risk to the public versus the risk of apprehending the person,” Lockhart said. “So in this instance, we had somebody who we believed had killed two people and so the danger of him being out in public is pretty high.”