FINDLAY -- The Ohio State Highway Patrol released new details and dramatic video Monday of the high-speed chase south on I-75 that ended in a shooting suspect's death. They also reported the name of the suspect. He was Danti Henry, 29, who most recently lived in Michigan in the Detroit area.
It all began in the Bowling Green BMV office Saturday morning when Henry allegedly presented false documents when trying to get an ID card. BMV staff called in a Bowling Green police officer who struggled with the suspect. Henry fired his gun, then ran away. What followed was a high-speed chase involving multiple law enforcement agencies as the suspect led officers down I-75 from Bowling Green to Bluffton.
The 100 MPH chase ended in the parking lot of a Sterling Store after officers flattened the minivan's tires with stop sticks. Henry got out of the minivan and fired at officers as he got into another vehicle occupied by a woman from Canada. Her husband was outside, pumping gas. Officers returned the fire, killing Henry.
The Highway Patrol's video shows Henry getting out of his minivan at the Sterling Store, zig-zagging through the gas station parking lot, and firing his gun at the State Highway Patrol troopers. They say the suspect had a total of three guns with him, and he was wearing a bullet-proof vest at the time of the incident.
There's no word on Henry's motivation for the shootout. He was supposed to be sentenced on an unrelated drug case in the Detroit area soon. He also had a number false IDs with him Saturday.
The Hancock County coroner said a single gunshot to the neck is what killed Henry. Another shot hit him in the jaw. Two troopers were wounded in the shootout. The Canadian woman suffered a superficial wound.
Walbridge-based Trooper Chuck Gizzard, 37, was shot in the hand and is off-duty due to his injuries. Findlay-based Trooper Albert Leitenberger, 47, is still in St. Rita Medical Center in Lima. He was shot in the arm, and underwent a second surgery Monday. The injury was called fairly serious. "He's been able to move his fingers, and that's encouraging," said Captain Richard Collins of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. "His doctors tell him that's encouraging."
A woman who was traveling with the suspect got out of the minivan when it slowed before heading onto I-75 as the suspect fled the Bowling Green scene. She was apprehended by officers, who identified her as Barbara Jean Clark from Southview, Michigan. Police say she has a prior history of prostitution arrests. She was booked on a charge of consiracy to commit robbery, and has a court date scheduled for next Monday.
Officials tell News 11 that Clark is six months pregnant. There's no word on what her relationship was with Henry.
Authorities are puzzled as to why this whole ordeal even happened.. The Hancock County Prosecutor says by law they must treat Henry's death as a homicide. "It will be submitted to the Hancock grand jury. I think the tape is pretty evident in terms of why the officers acted in the way and fashion that they did," said Robert Fry, the Hancock County Prosecutor.
Count on News 11 to follow this case as it develops.