GASSVILLE, Ark. – Two days after a violent rampage at a gay bar in Massachusetts, authorities said the teen suspect fled 1,500 miles to Arkansas where he fatally shot a police officer and a 33-year-old woman.
Jacob D. Robida, a high school dropout who friends said glorified Naziism, was shot twice in the head in a gun battle with police Saturday, officials said. He was critically injured.
After Thursday's hatchet-and-gun attack at Puzzles Lounge in New Bedford, Mass., which injured three people, police said the 18-year-old fled in a green Pontiac and picked up Jennifer Rena Bailey, at her Charleston, W. Va., home.
"Apparently she's had a prior relationship with this guy and had been corresponding with him," said West Virginia State Police Sgt. C.J. Ellyson.
They were driving through the northern Arkansas town of Gassville when Officer Jim Sell pulled them over for a traffic stop. The teen twice shot Sell, 56, said Massachusetts prosecutor Paul Walsh Jr.
Witness Maryann Hoyne said she saw the officer's squad car bumper to bumper with Robida's car, and heard three gunshots. Sell was on the ground and Robida got back into his car and drove off, she said.
Robida returned a moment later to retrieve his gun, which he had left at the side of the officer, said Hoyne, manager of the Brass Door Motel in Gassville.
About 25 miles away, Robida drove over spike strips set out by state troopers and drove with two punctured tires into downtown Norfork. Robida's car then careened into several parked vehicles to avoid a police barricade.
"When he wrecked he started firing at our officer and a state police officer, and the officers returned fire," said Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery.
The teen shot the woman in the car with him before he was wounded in the shootout with police, Walsh said. State police wouldn't confirm Walsh's account and said ballistics tests would determine how the woman died.
Robida was taken to a Springfield, Mo., hospital, according to Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler.
One victim of the Massachusetts attack — which police have called a hate crime — said he was "elated" the teen had been apprehended.
"Right now I'd like him to be able to regain consciousness and answer some questions," said Bob Perry, who was released from a Boston hospital Friday. He had a black eye, a five-inch gash on his right cheek and a bullet hole in his back.
Another victim remained hospitalized, and officials would not disclose the location of the third. Police said Robida would be charged with attempted murder, assault and civil rights violations in the attack.