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Florida murder suspect dead after police chase, shooting on I-70

SOUTH STRABANE TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A Florida murder suspect is dead after a police chase and shooting that went onto Interstate 70 Thursday night in South Strabane Township, Pennsylvania State Police said.

The incident started about 11:30 p.m. as a traffic stop for erratic driving in the area of the Interstate 79/70 junction, police said. A chase ensued and the driver traveled westbound on I-70 eastbound.

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Authorities said the driver, 45-year-old Steven Brooks, of St. Petersburg, Florida, crashed into a concrete pillar, got out of the pickup truck and ran down an embankment to the interstate ramp below. Police chased after him.

Brooks showed a weapon and refused commands from state troopers to put it down, police said. Two troopers fired multiple rounds.

Brooks was shot multiple times and died at the scene, police said. Neither trooper was injured.

Officials in Alabama said Brooks -- wanted for murder in Pinellas County, Florida -- had eluded police in Madison County, where a “be on the lookout” had been issued for him.

During a news conference in Washington County Friday afternoon, state police revealed that Brooks fled Florida after the death of a woman he is suspected of killing. He went to Alabama and was staying at his estranged girlfriend’s home.

On Wednesday, U.S. Marshals and a SWAT team converged on the Alabama home. Police said Brooks refused to surrender and fled the home in a vehicle, prompting a police chase that ended when he drove into a swamp and ran into a wooded area.

Brooks eluded capture after later stealing the pickup truck he was driving at the time of Thursday night’s chase and shooting in South Strabane Township, investigators said.

The ramp from I-79 south to I-70 east was closed while investigators remained at the scene into early Friday morning.

Police said the gun Brooks had was stolen from Florida in 2014 and was loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition.

The two troopers involved in the fatal shooting of Brooks have been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of an investigation conducted by the Washington County District Attorney’s Office.