It’s a series of events that’s usually reserved for a prime time television drama. A teenager steals a truck, taunts police and ends up dead in a shootout, according to investigators.
The sad tale was all too real in Albermarle County, Va., Friday.
Deputies attempted to pull over Colby Eppard, 18, when they suspected he was driving a stolen vehicle. Instead of complying, Eppard took off.
The teen eluded authorities on foot for a while. When he spotted an empty deputy’s vehicle, he jumped in and sped away, police say.
Virginia State Police and officers from Albemarle and Greene counties gave chase.
Throughout the pursuit, Eppard allegedly taunted authorities through the police radio.
“You underestimated a true hunter,” Eppard said, according to police. “I stalking my ****-ing prey.”
He continued the taunts, police say. “I watched (you) run through the woods and look around and you didn’t even notice that I was gone with your car. That’s how a real hunter does it.”
Eppard’s next words were haunting. “If y’all ****-ing try to kill me because that’s the only way I’m giving this ****-ing car back.”
The high-speed chase ended after authorities put down spike strips on Route 20.
“When the suspect crashed the vehicle, he got out and started firing at police that had stopped behind him in the course of the pursuit,” said Corinne Geller with the Virginia State Police. “And obviously firing at the police, they returned fire.”
Eppard died moments later.
All of the deputies and officers involved in the shootout with the teen suspect are on administrative leave while the case is under investigation.