It began with a deadly shooting on a street in Memphis and ended nine hours later on an expressway 370 miles away when a man in a stolen car shot himself in the head.
Two men and one woman died in he three-state killing spree. The suspect, Ernest Lee Jamison, 24, was in critical condition Tuesday, police said.
Authorities said Jamison would not be charged until it was clear he would live.
Police said it wasn’t known what provoked the killings, which began around 5 a.m. Monday.
Arthur Kirkwood, 24, who knew Jamison, had just seen his girlfriend home when he was shot and killed and his maroon Oldsmobile stolen.
About five hours and 240 miles later, a gas station attendant James Klug filled the tank of a car in Arnold, Mo., just south of St. Louis. Then the 67-year-old Klug walked around the car to get paid.
“That’s when our suspect apparently opened fire, shooting Mr. Klug … in the chest,” Arnold Police Chief B.J. Nelson said.
About 2 p.m., a maroon Oldsmobile pulled into a gas station in McLean, in north-central Illinois, with a flat tire. The driver went to a nearby car, shot the driver in the head and pulled her from the car, then drove off in it.
When a deputy spotted the car and pulled it over, the driver shot himself.
The woman whose car was stolen, 52-year-old Sue Gilmore, died Monday night.
Memphis police say Jamison had a record of misdemeanor arrests for disorderly conduct and trespassing.
Jamison’s mother, Lestin Jamison, said her son had attended a Bible school in Texas but returned to Memphis last month when his grandmother suffered a stroke.
“I never knew him to harm nobody,” she told The Commercial Appeal newspaper. “It don’t sound like him.”