COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The search for a man who authorities say fired shots at officers during a chase in South Carolina stretched into a third day Thursday as investigators linked him to a killing and two other shootings earlier this month, as well as two shooting deaths in Missouri.
Tyler Terry, 27, was spotted running from the wrecked car late Monday in Chester County, under an Interstate 77 bridge 12 miles (19 kilometers) away in York County on Wednesday afternoon and back in Chester County about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the crash site Thursday, investigators said.
Terry was reportedly wearing all black clothes and no shoes as nearly 100 officers join with police dogs, helicopters and drones keep looking around the clock. Schools have been placed on lockdown and police are asking everyone to stay inside and lock their doors if possible in an area with a lot of places to search and perhaps have a dangerous encounter with officers or the public.
“It’s got everything — wooded areas, creeks, roads, schools, lots of abandoned buildings, sheds — lots of places he could hide. That’s why we have so many people here," York County Sheriff's Office spokesman Trent Faris told reporters Wednesday.
The search for Terry has become more urgent because of what investigators have determined since he started running.
Terry was initially charged with two counts of attempted murder for shooting at Chester County deputies during the late Monday night chase that reached speeds over 100 mph (160 kph).
One bullet lodged in the windshield of a deputy's cruiser just above the steering wheel. She was not hurt and kept chasing, Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey said.
Since then, authorities issued a murder warrant against Terry for the killing of a man found inside a York home and five attempted murder warrants for two separate shootings in Chester County all on May 2. Investigators did not immediately release details on those incidents or how they were linked to Terry.
In Missouri, police told news outlets they believe Tyler and a woman found driving him in South Carolina are also responsible for two separate shooting deaths in St. Louis over the weekend.
Terry and Adrienne Simpson, 34, are believed to have shot Dr. Sergei Zacharev during a Saturday night robbery in a restaurant parking lot, and then shot Barbara Goodkin about 45 minutes later as she sat in her car, using the same weapon in each shooting, according to Brentwood Police Chief Joseph Spiess.
Authorities said they did not have a motive to link the couple to the deaths but used video to help identify them as suspects. One video shows people believed to be the couple stealing a license plate, while other imagery from a motel suspected as the site of a drug deal showed the couple's faces, Spiess said.
It was authorities' identification of the stolen plate that led to the chase and eventual crash in South Carolina, authorities said.
Simpson was arrested after the chase in South Carolina and initially charged with failure to stop for a blue light. Police have since added a charge of accessory after the fact against Simpson. Jail records did not indicate if she had a lawyer who could comment on her behalf.
The case took another twist Thursday morning as Chester County Coroner Terry Tinker confirmed that the body of Simpson's husband, Eugene, was found the day before. Tinker ruled the death a homicide but was awaiting autopsy results to determine the cause of death. Eugene Simpson was reported missing May 2.
Police have not ruled out whether Terry is getting help while running from officers, but said their main goal is to find a dangerous man.
“We don't know if he maybe got a ride. We don't know if he ran that far or he walked that far but we'll figure all that out after we get him into custody,” Faris said.
Jeffrey Collins And Meg Kinnard, The Associated Press