Details about a pursuit that spanned two counties, killing a Washington Township motorist and injuring eight other people, and ended with police shooting a robbery suspect emerged at a news conference Saturday afternoon.
Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre said Brian Everett Lipp, 48, of Lambertville, Mich., was killed after he was shot numerous times by police after he lit up a crack pipe and pointed a gun at officers who cornered him at the I-75 interchange at Bancroft Street just after noon on Saturday.
Police, including Ohio Highway Troopers and the FBI, fired an estimated 40 to 50 rounds at Lipp when he refused to drop his weapon, Chief Navarre said.
Earlier in the day, Larry Collins, 63, of 2506 Shoreland Ave., was killed after his vehicle collided head-on with a Toledo police car traveling south in the northbound lanes of I-75 in pursuit of Lipp about 9:28 a.m., police said after the news conference.
Two adults and two children in a second vehicle were injured when their car collided with the crashed vehicles. They were treated at Toledo Hospital and released with minor injuries, the chief said.
The chief said the two police officers involved in the crash suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries for which they were admitted to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center.
A mother and her baby were injured in another I-75 collision involving Lipp soon after. Both were treated at St. Vincent’s. “They’re going to be okay,” the chief said.
Mayor Mike Bell thanked the police, troopers, firefighters and others who helped chase down Lipp. Mayor Bell was at the news conference, along with representatives from the Ohio Highway Patrol and Toledo Fire Department.
“I thank the officers and everybody that got involved in trying to bring this incident to a close. Unfortunately, as I stated, we had a loss of life. But sometimes I guess that happens, and nobody can answer the question why and once again our prayers go out, but I want to thank the law enforcement officials, the fire departments, and everybody else who got involved with this particular incident,” Mr. Bell said.
Chief Navarre said that the shooting of the suspect will be turned over for review by a Lucas County grand jury, which he is said is standard procedure. He said three Toledo police officers, three state troopers, and an FBI agent fired at Lipp, using service revolvers and shotguns.
Asked whether the officers did the right thing in pursuing Lipp going the wrong way on I-75, Chief Navarre said the department would review its policies and procedures to see whether any should be changed.
He said the officers and the suspect started out driving close to the center median when Lipp veered toward the center of I-75, which apparently drove the motorist into the same lane as the officers.
He said the police car’s lights and sirens probably helped warn oncoming traffic, and at least one motorist told police she pulled over when she saw the police car.
“I would have to think that they would decrease the danger” for other traffic on I-75, Chief Navarre said.
Mayor Bell answered the question by saying, “it’s very easy to second guess because we were not there.”
He added: “I know there is no way those officers would have done what they were doing if they did not believe they were going to make a difference in the incident.”
The incident started when Lipp, who was wanted for an aggravated burglary Aug. 19 and two drug-store robberies during the week, was sighted Friday in Point Place. Toledo police were joined by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office when the man believed to be Lipp fled into Michigan.
He was sighted again about 9:15 a.m. Saturday in the vicinity of North Detroit Avenue and Alexis Road. When police Sgt. Karen Martensen confronted Lipp, he pointed a gun at her and fled. He then stole a car, a 2010 gray Honda Civic, at gunpoint at the Barney’s gas station and fled west on Alexis.
Police picked up Lipp again off Bennett Road between Alexis and Laskey Road, where he attempted to ram police cars, the chief said.
He escaped and was seen again in the stolen Civic at Detroit and Lagrange Street. Officers followed him onto I-75 at South Expressway Drive, heading south in the northbound lanes.
According to police, Lipp held up a Walgreen’s Pharmacy, 1013 Main St., Bowling Green, at 11:30 a.m. He was spotted by a Perrysburg city police officer at State Rt. 25 and Five Point Road. The Ohio Highway Patrol picked up the chase after Lipp exited Route 25 onto eastbound I-475 and then continued on northbound I-75.
At the Bancroft Street interchange. Lipp took the exit at a high rate of speed and rolled his car into the back of a garage.
Chief Narvarre said he lit up a pipe which they believe had crack cocaine in it, and pointed his weapon at officers, who then opened fire. The chief said Lipp’s gun turned out to be a pellet gun.
“We haven’t analyzed the contents yet, but we believe he was smoking crack as he was laying in that car on its side,” Chief Navarre said.