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Pair Arrested In South Dakota In Connection To Violent 3-State Crime Spree That Left 2 Dead
Timothy Sargent and Savanna Emich are believed to have shot at a family of three, while Sargent is also accused of murdering two people in two states days before.
A man and woman wanted in connection to a shooting spree that spanned three states were arrested in South Dakota this week, putting an end to a nationwide manhunt.
Timothy Sargent and Savanna Emich were arrested in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Monday following a marathon of violence that began last week in Akron, Ohio, Indiana State Police announced in a news release. Sargent specifically is believed to have been responsible for multiple shootings that left two dead and three injured, that occurred in Ohio, Indiana, and West Virginia, according to numerous law enforcement agencies.
Sargent is alleged to have shot a 29-year-old man multiple times at a homeless community in northeast Ohio on the night of August 17, the Akron Police Department said in a news release. The man's injuries were not life-threatening, and following an investigation, Sargent, 41, was identified as the suspect, according to police, who issued a warning that Sargent was wanted for numerous crimes, including attempted murder and felonious assault.
Sargent is accused of having gunned down his girlfriend, 22-year-old Rebecca Tomlinson, in Akron the following day, ABC News reports. Sargent then traveled to West Virginia, where he is suspected of having shot and killed a second person, 62-year-old David Martin, on Wednesday, while Martin was driving on the highway, the West Virginia Metro News reports.
Sargent and Emich are both alleged to have been involved in a third shooting, although it is unclear at what point Emich, identified by police as a 20-year-old Ohio resident, joined Sargent. That shooting took place on Wednesday evening in Harrison County, Indiana; a couple and their teenage daughter were leaving a rural area near O’Bannon Woods State Park when they were attacked by a driver in another car, the Indiana State Police said in a previous news release.
The shooter or shooters were driving a white Dodge Avenger and pulled up alongside the family's gray 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe and opened fire: Both the male driver of the Hyundai and the woman in the passenger seat were struck by gunfire multiple times, while the third occupant, who was sitting in the rear, was unharmed.
After the shooting, the driver of the Hyundai crashed the car into the woods, likely in an attempt to escape the immediate danger of the shooting, Indiana police said. Meanwhile, the assailants are believed to have fled and ditched the car in a cornfield around 15 miles away before stealing a silver 2000 Chevrolet Silverado from someone's property and fleeing again.
Both victims of the shooting were taken to a nearby hospital, with the driver reportedly suffering from life-threatening injuries, as police launched a search for those believed to be responsible for the violent act.
Police were initially unaware if Emich began traveling with Sargent of her own accord or if she was a victim, Captain Dave Laughlin of the Akron PD told News 5 Cleveland.
"We don't know if she's willingly with him, coerced, threatened or otherwise," Laughlin said, adding that Emich had been classified as an endangered missing person.
However, in subsequent news releases, Emich was identified as a person of interest in the Harrison County shooting, as was Sargent, who was also named as a person of interest in the murders of Tomlinson in Ohio, Martin in West Virginia, and the attempted murder of the unnamed victim in Northeast Ohio, according to police statements.
Potential motives for the various acts of violence have yet to be made public.
Following the discovery of Tomlinson's body on August 18, her father, James Tomlinson, called for justice.
"I would like to see this SOB, whatever you want to call him, put in prison for the rest of his life because death ain't justice to him," he told News 5 Cleveland. "I want to see him suffer."
Both Sargent and Emich are still in custody without bond in Minnehaha County, online jail records show. The pair is due to be extradited to Ohio, according to ABC News.