A man and a woman were in custody Wednesday on suspicion of robbing a Wellsville convenience store, leading police on a car chase and allegedly shooting at them late Tuesday.
Johnson County Sheriff's officers arrested an Olathe man without incident at a Merriam hotel Wednesday morning. Eric Steffons, 21, was being held in the Johnson County Jail on suspicion of attempted murder for shooting at law enforcement officers, Johnson County Sheriff's Lt. Jay Fabert said.
A Johnson County woman who was with the man was arrested late Tuesday night after the car that the two suspects were in was stopped on Interstate 35 near the Gardner exits, Franklin County Sheriff Craig Davis said in a statement to the media.
The woman, identified as Kelley Lane, 18, of Johnson County, was being held by Franklin County on suspicion of armed robbery and fleeing and eluding officers, Davis said.
Davis gave the following account:
About 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, a man armed with a handgun and wearing camouflage clothes and a ski mask robbed Casey's General Store in Wellsville. The clerk complied when ordered to turn over money from the cash register. The man then left the store with a woman. They got into a car and drove away.
Police were called, and a Wellsville Police officer saw the car headed north on Kansas Highway 33. The officer followed the car until sheriff's officers could catch up; an attempt was then made to stop the car. A police chase then ensued on county roads northeast of Wellsville.
The chase led to the Edgerton interchange on I-35, where the man got out of the car and fired several shots, striking a sheriff's car. The officer was not injured. Shots also were fired at a Wellsville patrol car, but it was not hit.
The suspects' vehicle continued until it was stopped in Gardner.
Franklin County and Wellsville officers searched the area around the Edgerton interchange along with the Kansas Highway Patrol. Search dogs from the Lenexa Police Department and Johnson County Sheriff's Office also were used, but the man was not found.
On Wednesday morning, sheriff's officers went to the Dutchmaid Hotel in Merriam where they found and arrested Steffons, Fabert said. No information was available about what led officers to the hotel.