A man is dead and three people are in custody after a man stole a Nevada Highway Patrol vehicle during a traffic stop on Interstate 80 Monday afternoon.
Dozens of sheriff's deputies and other law enforcement officers responded to the Mustang exit just off Interstate 80, which is the spot where NHP troopers originally pulled over a 2013 Ford Explorer with Florida plates.
Captain Darin Balaam of the Washoe County Sheriff's Office explained how the ordeal began. "Two NHP troopers initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle occupied by several suspects," said Balaam. "During the initial stop one of the subjects was able to flee from their vehicle and take one of the NHP vehicles."
Deputies say that suspect headed east on I-80 in the trooper's vehicle. The three other people in the Ford were taken into custody. Officers followed the stolen NHP vehicle, and shot out its tires. But that didn't stop the suspect.
"The suspect acquired a second vehicle (a 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix) from a citizen and fled and continued eastbound on I-80," said Balaam. "And somewhere in the Fernley area, the suspect stopped and shots were fired and we since have one deceased person at the scene in Fernley."
Deputies say the suspect committed suicide. And since shots were fired by NHP troopers, the investigation has been turned over to the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, Reno and Sparks police and the Nevada Division of Investigation.
Capt. Balaam told us detectives were diagramming the scene and a formal interview with troopers will be conducted. "There are no outstanding suspects, because we're confident we have them all and that the troopers are okay and there are no injured citizens," Balaam said.
Deputies say after the suspect rolled the second stolen car near Fernley, he got out of the car and shot himself with the NHP trooper's shotgun -- which was inside the stolen patrol car. He did not survive, and his identity has not been released.
Two of the people in the Ford Explorer have been identified as 29-year-old Manuel Alejandro Rodriguez and 23-year-old Christian Magllano Alzurua -- both of Jacksonville, Florida. The fourth person, a woman, has not been identified.