SPOTSYLVANIA, VA (WWBT) - The son of a former prominent Virginia state senator shot himself following a pursuit on Interstate 95 north on Tuesday morning after abducting a woman and killing a man at a Caroline hotel, police said.
The woman called 911 from the Relax Inn off Route 301, north of Bowling Green, to report a domestic situation around 8:11 a.m., according to the Caroline County Sheriff's Office. Dispatchers heard an argument and gunshots during the call and sent investigators to the motel. Inside they found Jeremy Gift, 36, of Stafford, suffering from a gunshot wound. He later died at the hospital.
"You get a knock on the door at 9 o' clock from a deputy saying there's a shooting and you're like you know, you freeze," Sarah Nuchols says. She lives next door and knew Gift. "He was a sweetheart. He would always check on us, make sure we were doing okay."
As a lieutenant was headed to the scene, he saw Todd T. Houck and a woman leave in a car. Officers say the man pointed a weapon at a deputy then led the officers on a high-speed pursuit through Bowling Green. The chase continued onto Interstate 95 for nearly 30 miles into Spotsylvania where the suspect rammed a State Trooper's vehicle around mile marker 124. "It kind of caught me by surprise to see police lights in the review mirror and just not your typical morning commute," Jeremy Horn says, who was driving on the highway.
Investigators heard a gunshot from inside the vehicle and found the driver dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Officers believe the woman in the car called authorities about the argument at the motel and say Houck forced her to join him in the car. She was not injured, nor were any of the responding officers. No shots were fired by law enforcement.
According to online court records, he was out on bond for a burglary charge out of Fredericksburg and was supposed to be in court next month.
All lanes of I-95 north are now back open, but were closed for hours for the investigation.
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