Fugitive awaits extradition to Wayne County after manhunt ends in West Virginia

Schmidt crashed a stolen SUV through the garage door (Source: WOIO)
Schmidt crashed a stolen SUV through the garage door (Source: WOIO)

WOOSTER, OH (WOIO) - James "Bubba" Schmidt was arrested Tuesday night across state lines following an extensive manhunt that started when he shot at police in Wayne County.

Schmidt, 33, was tracked down by U.S. Marshals and law enforcement officials nearly 200 miles away in Gallipolis Ferry, W. Va.

He will now be brought back to Ohio to face charges, which include three counts of attempted murder, stemming from Tuesday's high-speed chase and shooting at police officers.

According to Wooster police, the known fugitive was spotted early Tuesday morning at the Walmart on Burbank Road.

When officers attempted to apprehend Schmidt, he fled from the scene and shot at several officers that were pursuing him, striking patrol cars from the Wooster Police Department and Wayne County Sheriff's Office.

Schmidt then lost control of the vehicle and crashed in a field near Orrville. He fired several more shots at officers and was able to escape again in an SUV stolen from a nearby residential garage.

The manhunt for Schmidt continued throughout the day. Eventually, U.S. Marshals spotted the suspect leaving a pawn shop and apprehended him in West Virginia Tuesday night.

Schmidt appeared in police custody with visible scratches to his face.

"That's a good dog, man. Excellent dog," Schmidt said while with police, likely referencing a police K-9 used during his apprehension.

In addition to the new attempted murder counts, Schmidt is also facing other charges for previous crimes:

  • Assault
  • style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;">Aggravated menacing
  • style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;">Improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle
  • style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;">Carrying a concealed weapon
  • style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;">Weapons under disability
  • style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;">Resisting arrest
  • style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;">Obstruction of official business

Extradition and court dates for Schmidt have not been announced yet.

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