Video: Suspect's 2-state crime spree, pursuit ends in shootout

The suspect stepped out of the car, held a gun to his head and threatened to shoot officers and himself


By Jean Cole
The News Courier

ATHENS, Ala. —  An Athens man who went on a two-state crime spree that included attempted murder, robbery and other charges apparently believed his former girlfriend was involved with another man and was trying to kill her, records show.

Casey Cole White, 32, of 808 Pryor St., is facing 13 charges in Limestone County in connection with alleged crimes that occurred late Dec. 2 and early Dec. 3. In Giles County, Tennessee — where the crime spree stretched before returning to Limestone County in the early morning hours of Dec. 3 — White is facing five charges. More charges are also pending in Tennessee, an official there said Tuesday.

According to a complaint filed by Investigator Leslie Ramsey in Limestone County Circuit Clerk's Office, the night of Dec. 2, White went to a home at 22608 Smith Road where his former girlfriend, Kerry Tyler, had recently moved with her two children. White entered the home armed with a .40-caliber handgun and a .380-caliber handgun.

Several people resided at the home, but inside that night White found Tyler, Charles Abernathy and Ken Ferguson in a back bedroom watching television. Tyler's two children were in the basement at the time.

White had been at the home the week before when another resident of the home, Justin Pitts, ordered him to leave while holding a shotgun. White said he believed Tyler was having a relationship with one of the residents.

When he entered the home, he was unsure who was there and he was paranoid about one of the occupants owning the shotgun. He held Abernathy and Ferguson at gunpoint and told them not to move.

Tyler, meanwhile, ran past White and out the back door. White said he fired multiple shots at her but missed as she fled. Abernathy and Ferguson escaped through a bathroom window.

White said he was still paranoid about the shotgun, so he fired several shots in front of him as he fled out the front door. In the process, he fatally shot the family dog. He then went on a crime spree (in Limestone County and Tennessee).

When apprehended (by Limestone County authorities), he said his intent was to kill Tyler and have police kill him. His only regret was that neither took place. He said if he was released he would kill Tyler.

At the time of his arrest in the early morning hours of Dec. 3, a Limestone County official said White was charged with one count each of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree robbery, cruelty to animals, third-degree burglary, first-degree theft and attempting to elude law enforcement, and two counts of first-degree burglary.

Court records show White is also charged with three counts of kidnapping and one count each of breaking and entering a vehicle and third-degree criminal mischief.

In Tennessee, White is charged with first-degree attempted murder, car-jacking, two counts of attempted carjacking and theft of more than $10,000, said Giles County Investigator Lt. Shane Hunter. More charges are pending, Hunter said.

Authorities in Limestone County and Tennessee responded to numerous crime reports after White left his ex-girlfriend's home.

A man tried to rob, at gunpoint, a man in the 19000 block of Looney Road about 11:30 p.m. When the victim said he had no money, the assailant took the man's car keys and stole his dark-colored 2007 Ford Explorer.

A man then attempted to hijack a trucker at the Tennessee Welcome Center near mile marker 3 on Interstate 65. Investigators there were told a man with two handguns jumped into the cab of an 18-wheeler and told the operator, “You're going to drive me.” The driver refused and barricaded himself in his sleeper compartment and later told investigators the gunman was driving a dark-colored SUV.

The gunman ran across the parking lot at the welcome center to where a Kentucky woman was sitting in her car. He demanded she let him into the car. When she refused, the man began firing into the car, striking the woman “multiple times” in the left arm, Hunter said. (The woman has since been released from Vanderbilt Hospital, Hunter said Tuesday.)

While en route to the welcome center, Giles County investigators received another call about a car-jacking at a Pilot gas station at Exit 22 on I-65. A man wielding a gun had approached the owner of a white 2012 Lincoln MKZ and had stolen the car.

Investigators found a dark Ford Explorer, which had been stolen on Looney Road, at the Tennessee Pilot station. They notified Limestone County sheriff's deputies of the development.

Around midnight, a Limestone deputy spotted the Lincoln traveling south on I-65 at more than 100 mph. Deputies chased the driver, who then exited onto U.S. 31 southbound and proceeded through Athens and the Tanner Crossroads before driving into a ditch across the road from Swan Creek Mobile Home Park.

As officers surrounded the Lincoln, the driver — identified as White — stepped out of the car, held a gun to his head and threatened to shoot officers and himself unless he could speak with Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely. The sheriff arrived and eventually talked White into surrendering.

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