Fayette County

Escaped inmate captured after stealing car in Fayette County

FAYETTE COUNTY, Pa. — Roads were shut down in Fayette County on Monday as state police chased an inmate who escaped custody and stole a vehicle.

“It happened so fast, they kept firing at him,” Tammy Smith said.

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The pursuit started around 10:40 a.m. when year-old Justin Shea had just been sentenced on minor charges and managed to escape from a transport van and ran into a German Township home, hands and legs shackled and right past the homeowner’s daughter who was standing outside.

“He starts that baby up and hits reverse, only one way out, he hits that garage door," Smith said.

Smith said her own vehicle was blocking the garage, and she watched as he drove over a crumbled garage door and rammed her car repeatedly, all while corrections officers opened fire.

Shea got away, leading corrections officers and state police on a chase that lasted hours, with firefighters blocking roads and troopers giving chase.

It finally came to an end, authorities said, when Shea crashed the stolen car into a tree along Filbert Orient road three hours after it began.