An Ohio college student who died following an abduction and officer-involved shooting was killed by a bullet fired from her kidnapper, police said Wednesday.
Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rick Sanders released new details about Monday evening’s chase and shooting off Interstate 71 in Oldham County, which resulted in the deaths of Ty’Rell Pounds and Skylar Williams. Sanders said “at least one or two shots” were fired from Pounds’ gun, and one of those bullets entered Skylar Williams’ arm before traveling into her chest and torso.
Officer Joey Brown, who initiated what is called a pit maneuver to crash and stop the car driven by Pounds, exited his vehicle three feet away from Pounds, Sanders said. Brown fired several shots into the driver’s side of the car driven by Pounds.
Some of the bullets fired by Brown penetrated a bulletproof vest worn by Pounds, 24, and he died at the scene, according to Sanders. None of Brown’s bullets struck Williams.
“After seeing Pounds down and taken out of the equation, (Brown) went to check on the victim in the passenger’s seat,” Sanders said. “Officer Brown then attempted first aid to try and save her life.”
Williams, 20, was taken to University of Louisville hospital, where she died, police said. Sanders said Williams was “bleeding profusely” when Brown began tending to her, using a tourniquet.
“Anytime we have two deaths in a situation, it’s a sad day for everyone involved,” Sanders said. “We were placed in a situation where we had to take action.”
State police reported that they were called by officials in Gallatin County at 3:24 p.m. Monday after they received a 911 call about a “distressed female at a gas station that was forced into a vehicle by a male.”
Police spotted the vehicle, described as a dark-colored Dodge Caravan with a Quebec registration plate, in Henry County, according to state police. Troopers tried to pull the van over, but the driver would not stop.
Troopers pursued the van south on Interstate 71 and into Oldham County, where they tried to stop the driver using spike strips, according to state police. The driver avoided the spike strips and continued before exiting the interstate at the Pee Wee Valley ramp in Oldham County.
The driver of the van crossed Ky. 329 and tried to get back onto the interstate, but out of concern for public safety, troopers used “legal intervention” to stop the van on the on-ramp, according to state police.
Sanders was unsure if Williams was shot before or after Brown fired at Pounds.
“We are all saddened she is no longer with us, but these troopers did everything they could to save her life,” Sanders said.
Brown, a five-year veteran with state police, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation, Sanders said. He’s an “exemplary trooper,” according to Sanders, who added that trooper Steve Dykes called him a model for other law enforcement personnel.
Williams was abducted from Ohio State University at Mansfield’s campus early Monday, and the university quickly sent out an alert. When Williams was pronounced dead, the university offered its condolences.
“Our Ohio State community suffered a tragic loss with the death of Mansfield student Skylar Williams. This senseless and shocking incident has left our campus shaken,” Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake stated. “We join Mansfield Dean Norman Jones in expressing our condolences and deepest sympathies. Our thoughts and prayers are with Skylar’s family.”
Pounds is the father of Williams’ child and they had a prior relationship, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol.
One of Williams’ former teachers, Laurie Dean, told News 5 Cleveland the relationship Williams had with Pound was toxic while she was in high school.
“She dated him in high school, and I can remember students telling her then, ‘You should not be with him,’ and if only she listened,” Dean said.
Court records obtained by News 5 showed Pounds filed a restraining order against Williams last year. A child custody case between the two was filed in October and was still pending, the Courier-Journal reported.