A man suspected of shooting at law enforcement in Northern Virginia was wanted for allegedly murdering his wife just minutes before officers tried to pull him over, the Stafford County Sheriff's Office said.
Around 11:30 a.m. Thursday, deputies from the Stafford County Sheriff's Office responded to England Run North Apartments on Heron Drive and found 36-year-old Melissa Dee Lee shot to death, the sheriff's office said. Deputies put out a “Be On the Look Out” bulletin for a black Ford Explorer possibly connected with the homicide.
A short time later, Virginia State Police Trooper Z.G. Torrance spotted the vehicle on I-95 near Centreport Parkway in the Fredericksburg, Va. area. The trooper tried to pull over the vehicle, but the driver, 42-year-old Gregory Lee, refused to stop.
Two miles later, Lee suddenly stopped in the center lane of I-95, leaned out the driver's side window and fired several shot at the trooper, police said.
One bullet went through the windshield.
The trooper ducked to the side and escaped getting hurt. The bullet was later found lodged in his seat.
Lee kept driving and the trooper continued to pursue him along with the help of a Stafford County Sheriff's deputy.
But once again, Lee slowed down and starting firing out of his window at the police vehicles, VSP said.
This time, a bullet struck the Stafford County Sheriff's deputy's windshield. The deputy suffered a minor injury.
Police said Lee was weaving in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed. At the 142 mile marker, he sideswiped another vehicle on I-95 and lost control, police said. The Ford ran off the right side of the road, crashed into the guardrail, overturned and landed on its roof in the middle of I-95 northbound lanes.
According to police, Lee was seriously hurt from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A helicopter flew him to Fairfax Inova Hospital where he later died.
The high-speed chase also led to a three-vehicle wreck on I-95. The chain-reaction crash happened when the suspect suddenly stopped on the interstate the first time. A vehicle behind the VSP trooper hit the cruiser, which led a third car to rear-end the second vehicle. One person had minor injuries and was treated at the scene.
After the incidents, emergency crews blocked off all the northbound lanes on I-95 to investigate and clean up the crash scene. At one point, a 13-mile long traffic jam was reported.
It took about five hours for all lanes to reopen.
No law enforcement officers fired the weapons over the course of this incident, VPS said.
According to court documents, Gregory Lee was a registered sex offender.