Wade Morris Lucas Jr., the Baltimore man who kidnapped his estranged wife and shot her last Friday in Georgia, apparently fatally wounded himself today after grabbing three hostages and then trading shots with North Carolina highway patrol officers during a wild highway chase.
According to Jim Dearborn, FBI spokesman in Baltimore, Lucas, 24, fatally wounded himself about 9:30 a.m. while exchanging gunfire with members of the North Carolina Highway Patrol near Belmont.
Earlier, the FBI had reported that Lucas was killed by police gunfire. A coroner's report would further examine details surrounding the shooting, Dearborn said.
The three hostages taken earlier near the town of Greensboro, Ga., were released and not seriously injured in the shootout, Dearborn said.
FBI agents reported that Lucas kidnapped the trio and commandeered their 1990 Mercury Courgar near Greensboro. It was there that Lucas was the target Friday and Saturday of a massive manhunt following the shooting of his estranged
wife Tara McEntyre, 22, an employee of the Baltimore City state's attorney's office. She escaped Lucas before he, too, got away from authorities, slipping through a cordon of tracking dogs, two FBI SWAT teams and local law officers.
Early today, Lucas commandeered the Couger in Greene County and drove north along Interstate 85.
Lucas was believed armed with a 9mm semiautomatic pistol.
At about 6:15 a.m., the trio pulled into an Exxon service station in Swanee, Ga., according to Swanee police chief William R. Lewis.
"The gunman allowed one of the hostages to buy a Coke and that person told a clerk that he and the other person were being held hostage by the man who shot his wife last week in Greensboro," Lewis said.
"The other hostage, speaking in a very low voice, said the same thing when he got out of the car and the clerk called us," he said. "We immediately called the FBI."
About 9:30 a.m., the car was spotted northbound on Interstate 85 by North Carolina Highway Patrol officers, who attempted to pull the Cougar to the side of the road. They gave chase until Lucas's vehicle wrecked near downtown Belmont but not until after Lucas had fired several shots at police through the &L Cougar's sun roof.
The FBI's Daly said Lucas came out of the vehicle shooting and was exchanging gunfire with police when he reportedly placed his weapon to his head and fired.
McEntyre, 22, of the 2200 block of Braddish Ave. in West Baltimore, was kidnapped Tuesday after she obtained a restraining order against Lucas for his violent behavior. On Thursday, her work identification card and a plea for help -- written in lipstick on a bathroom mirror -- were found at a Jacksonville, Fla., gas station.