ANCHORAGE, Ky. (AP) — A man shot his girlfriend in the head then killed himself during a gunfight with police Tuesday night, after a two-day, cross-state crime spree in which they allegedly stabbed an elderly widower to death and stole two cars and a gun, police say.
Investigators from at least four jurisdictions are trying to puzzle together the series of events that left 18-year-old Destiny A. Moneyhun and 25-year-old Bradley James Sheets dead in an overgrown field in Anchorage, Kentucky, a wealthy suburb of Louisville 100 miles from their home in Barren County.
In between, they allegedly stopped in Hardin County where deputies say they stabbed 74-year-old Lewis Hoskinson to death with a large knife and stole his car.
Police in Barren County started looking for them on Monday, when a roommate reported that his truck, his credit card and firearm had been stolen, said Glasgow Police Capt. Jennifer Arbogast. They issued a statewide bulletin asking police agencies to look out for the two as suspects in the thefts, warning they should be considered armed, dangerous and possibly suicidal.
Police encountered them next on Tuesday night in Anchorage.
A resident reported a suspicious car parked at a dead-end, gravel road leading to an overgrown field. Officers with the Anchorage Police Department, a small 10-officer force, ran the plates and found it registered to a man in Hardin County. They called the sheriff's office there and asked that they check on the owner.
Hardin County Chief Deputy David Lee said a deputy was dispatched and peered through the window of the home, where 74-year-old Lewis Hoskinson lived alone since his wife passed away. The deputy saw signs of foul play — the house had been ransacked — and called in backup. The deputies entered and discovered Hoskinson dead. He had been stabbed with a very large knife, Lee said.
Arbogast confirmed that the couple knew Hoskinson, but she declined to say how.
"They knew this man. They knew him well," she said. "They knew the home and they had been there in the past."
Lee did not return calls asking for information on their connection.
Meanwhile, Anchorage Police Officer Brian Taylor and Lt. Mark Hoskins, then unaware that the body had been discovered linked to the stolen car parked in their town, began searching the area.
They came across Sheets and Moneyhun under a tree in the thick brush.
Louisville Metro Police Col. Michael Sullivan, whose department is leading the investigation into the shooting, said Sheets took out a revolver and pointed it at the officers.
The police department on Thursday released footage from a body camera worn by Taylor during the confrontation. It's difficult to see the suspects, but Hoskins can be heard telling them to stand up, then Taylor shouts "he's got a gun, he's got a gun, he's got a gun."
Hoskins shouts "put it down."
Sullivan said Thursday that Taylor took cover. Hoskins fired at Sheets, who then fell to the ground and dropped the gun. Sullivan said Moneyhun picked the gun up from the ground and pointed it at police.
Hoskins, in the video, screams again "put it down, put the gun down."
Four more shots ring out, and Sullivan said Hoskins fired at the woman. She dropped the gun.
Sullivan said Sheets picked it up again. Sullivan said Sheets then put the gun to Moneyhun's head and fired, killing her, then shot himself in the head.
Sullivan said the preliminary investigation suggests both were hit by the officer's gunfire, though they are believed to have died from the bullets fired by Sheets.
The entire exchange lasted only a few seconds.
Both officers remain on administrative leave while Louisville police completes its investigation.
Anchorage Police Chief Dean Hayes said it remains a mystery why Moneyhun and Sheets ended up in Anchorage, a quiet small town of just 2,300 people, 60 miles from the Hardin County home where the widower was found dead.
"There's a lot of emotion spread over those 60 miles," he said. "Between that crime scene down there, and the one here, our officers feel it, the community feels it."