While fireworks boomed in the sky near the Cumberland Parkway Saturday night, police sirens screamed underneath, as a police pursuit ended in a tragic self-inflicted death.
Lonnie S. Walls, 50, of Smyrna, Tenn., was the subject of the incident that began shortly before 10 p.m., according to Kentucky State Police (KSP).
After a report of a reckless driver in a white BMW convertible had been received by the Pulaski County 911 Center at approximately 9:48 p.m., a KSP Vehicle Enforcement Officer observed the car operating in a reckless manner on Ky. 80, according to KSP.
The KVE officer activated his emergency equipment in an attempt to stop the vehicle, which accelerated and continued west on Ky. 80. Walls went about two miles before he lost control of his vehicle and struck another motorist traveling in the same direction close to the intersection with Ringgold Road and the Cumberland Parkway, said state police.
The collision cause Walls to strike a concrete curb, damaging his vehicle. Once it came to rest, Walls exited the car armed with a handgun and shot himself in the head, said KSP.
Walls was pronounced dead at the scene by the Pulaski County Coroner’s Office of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The Rutherford County, Tenn., Sheriff’s Office informed the Commonwealth Journal that there was a warrant out for Walls’ arrest in that state for violating his probation on the original charge of manufacturing methaphetamine.
Additionally, Trooper Lloyd Cochran of KSP said that Walls had been indicted in Allen County, Ky., on charges of public intoxication and tampering with physical evidence.
Cochran also said that tests would be conducted to see if there were any drugs in Walls’ body at the time of the incident. Any potential intoxication is unknown by officials at this time.
KSP Det. Billy Correll is continuing the investigation. He was assisted at the scene by KSP Det. Ryan Loudermilk, KSP Vehicle Enforcement, Somerset Police Department and Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.
Chris Harris is a staff writer for the Commonwealth Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.