Chase ends in Fla. gunfire exchange, death of suspect


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The Associated Press

MARGATE, Fla. - A man wounded his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend, kidnapped them at gunpoint, took aim at police during a two-county chase and was fatally shot by deputies on a highway Wednesday, authorities said.

William Bender, 54, was shot as he attempted a carjacking near Highway 441 in the Broward County suburb of Margate, authorities said. Homicide investigators were trying to determine late Wednesday which officer from three responding agencies fatally shot Bender.

Three people suffered minor injuries in the spree, which began early Wednesday.

Bender, toting a shotgun, went to his ex-girlfriend's home in the Palm Beach County suburb of Lantana, discovered the new boyfriend and shot him in the leg with another gun he found in the house, Palm Beach County sheriff's spokeswoman Teri Barbera said.

He then forced them in the ex-girflriend's car, drove to Boynton Beach, and dropped the injured man, Ian Gilbert, 41, at a church, Barbera said.

Gilbert then called the sheriff's office, who responded to the home of the ex-girlfriend, identified as Rebecca Farrell, 52.

Authorities located Bender and began pursuing him south on 441 when he started shooting at deputies' cars. A deputy was injured by glass when a bullet shattered the passenger's side window, Barbera said.

The chase continued with Bender reversing course several times and exchanging gunfire with police, Barbera said.

"He also was holding the gun against the ex-girlfriend's head periodically throughout the pursuit," Barbera said.

Bender continued speeding south into Broward County until he forced another motorist into a parking lot by driving his damaged vehicle straight at her. Bender followed the motorist, identified as Shirley White, 53, into the lot and tried to take her car, officials said.

Shots were fired again, and this time Bender and White were hit. White, of Margate, was transported to an area hospital suffering from a non-life threatening injury, authorities said.

Bender died on the scene, and deputies said they found two weapons in his possession.

Broward Sheriff's Office investigators said shots were fired by officers from both counties' sheriff's office's and Margate police, but it was not known who struck Bender or White.

A Broward deputy who fired his gun during the pursuit was placed on administrative leave.

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