CRESTWOOD, KY (WAVE) - The two people involved in Monday’s confrontation with law-enforcement officers in Oldham County were the suspect and victim in an abduction in Ohio earlier that day, officials have confirmed.
Kentucky State Police issued a statement just after 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, identifying Ty’rell Pounds, 24, as the suspect, and 20-year-old Skylar Williams as the victim. Both were from Mansfield, Ohio, about an hour north of Columbus, Ohio.
Kelly Mayhew, a clerk at the gas station, said he remembers seeing the two.
“They pulled into pump one in a little gray minivan,” Mayhew recalled. “And he came around and helped her out of the car and brought her in to the station.”
Mayhew said Williams went to the bathroom, while Pounds prepaid $20 for gas in cash.
“He step back two or three to let other customers come in and he was waiting on her," Mayhew said. "He didn’t say a word he just looked around.”
Mayhew said as the two were leaving, Williams looked at another customer and mouthed “help me.”
Mayhew later looked at the surveillance video and could see her saying that.
“On the videos is showing she looked up at him and said help me but she didn’t have no words come, just lips moving,” Mayhew described.
He said one of his customers called 911 immediately, as Pounds and Williams got back in the car.
At the same time, Pounds sped off.
“He didn’t pump his gas," Mayhew said. "And I had another customer was calling 911 before he started sprawling his tires. I guess that was the reason why he was in a hurry.”
On Monday, just before 3;30 p.m., a witness called 911 to report “a distressed female at a gas station that was forced into a vehicle by a male" in Gallatin County, about an hour north of Louisville, according to the KSP statement.
Police scanner traffic described the call from the Gallatin County gas station:
“Female attempted to escape from the vehicle -- black male pulled her back into the car. He is possibly armed.”
A short time later, in Henry County, a pursuit began that continued into Oldham County, where the confrontation took place on a highway ramp along Interstate 71. Pounds’ car crashed while he was trying to re-enter the interstate, according to KSP.
Officers from three different agencies were involved in the chase. They tried to stop the vehicle several times before it crashed in Oldham County. The KSP statement then described what happened next that led to the gunfire.
“While attempting to apprehend the suspect the trooper heard a gunshot coming from within the vehicle which he perceived as an immediate deadly threat to himself and the female passenger. The trooper drew his service weapon and fired at which time the suspect was struck resulting in his death at the scene. During this event, the female passenger was struck by at least one round of gunfire. The female was transported by Oldham County EMS to the University of Louisville Hospital where she was pronounced deceased by the Jefferson County Coroner.”
Pounds and Williams had a young son together. (Story continues after the video)
Ohio State University’s Mansfield campus had issued an alert Monday just after 1:30 p.m., warning students to be on the lookout for a 2019 Dodge Caravan. The alert stated that a female student was approached by a man known to her in a parking lot close to campus, The report also said the man displayed a gun, forced the woman into a vehicle and left the scene.
Authorities confirmed that a student had called 911 to report the abduction and said the man had forced the woman into a red Dodge Challenger. Investigators in Ohio confirmed to WAVE 3 News that Pounds then dropped that rented Challenger off at an Enterprise Rent-A-Car location. From there, he went back to his apartment with Williams, where police said he took his roommate’s Dodge Caravan. That is the same vehicle that Kentucky State Police would later track down.
Pounds published a heartwrenching Facebook post earlier Monday with his son in mind.
“My goal was to raise you as a man and become a state trooper,” he wrote, before adding a note about a custody dispute. “Obviously that didn’t happen ... I’m sorry you have to grow up without us, baby. But we’ll be watching you trust me!!!”
Pounds, who had graduated from the Mansfield Police Academy, also asked his son to become a state trooper. He apologized to his family, telling them there was nothing they could have done to stop him.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Ohio State President Michael V. Drake issued the following statement about Williams, who was studying for a career in the health industry:
“Our Ohio State community suffered a tragic loss with the death of Mansfield student Skylar Williams. This senseless and shocking incident has left our campus shaken. We join Mansfield Dean Norman Jones in expressing our condolences and deepest sympathies. Our thoughts and prayers are with Skylar’s family.”