Known fugitive captured in West Virginia following gunfight, police chase

Known fugitive captured in West Virginia following gunfight, police chase
James "Bubba" Schmidt
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) - Officers from several local law enforcement departments successfully tracked down and captured James "Bubba" Schmidt Tuesday in Gallipolis Ferry, West Virginia.

Schmidt was found by U.S. Marshals in a vehicle stolen out of Guernsey County in Ohio.

The manhunt was triggered after Schmidt shot at Wooster police officers and Wayne County Sheriff's deputies during a pursuit.

According to Wooster police, Schmidt, a known fugitive, was spotted around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Wooster Walmart on Burbank Road.

Officers went to apprehend Schmidt, but he fled in a car with a woman when he spotted police.

During a high-speed pursuit through parts of Wayne County, Schmidt fired a weapon at the officers and hit several police vehicles.

The pursuit ended when Schmidt lost control of the vehicle and crashed in a field near Orrville. He fled from the vehicle and fired several more shots at the pursuing officers.

Wooster police say one officer did return fire, but Schmidt was able to escape. He then stole an SUV from a residential garage on McQuaid Road by crashing the car through the garage door.

No officers or citizens were seriously injured in this incident.

An Orrville woman told Cleveland 19 she is shaken and scared after Schmidt broke into her home early Tuesday morning.

"I woke up to the gunshots," said Edna Beachy.  "I woke up and I was trying to figure out if I dreamt it or if it was real and I sat up and I looked out the window and I saw a dark figure heading towards my house."

She said she barricaded herself in a room, while on the phone with police, not sure who was in her house or what he was doing.

"At that time he was hollering something and breaking the windows on the doors trying to get inside, and at that time I had no idea what he wanted or why he was here," said Beachy. "When it was all said and done he had taken my car and busted through my garage door and broken all of my doors."

Schmidt was considered armed and dangerous. Previous charges for Schmidt include:

  • style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;">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

Wooster police say Schmidt will face additional charges.

Return to Cleveland 19 for more on this developing story.

Copyright 2017 WOIO. All rights reserved.