HOUSTON- A man suspected of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter opened fire on a crowded freeway Thursday, shooting repeatedly at motorists as he fled from police.
Authorities said the suspect kidnapped the mother and child Wednesday near Dallas and forced the mother at gunpoint to drive toward Houston. On Thursday, he punched out the back window of the car and cleared a path through traffic by firing at cars in his way.
"Bullets were flying everywhere," said witness Kymberly Rooks, whose car was sideswiped by the vehicle carrying the gunman.
The car slammed into the back of a pickup truck and ran off the road onto the grassy shoulder. The ex-girlfriend jumped from the vehicle while the suspect and police continued trading gunfire. Police rescued her daughter after the shooting stopped.
The gunman, identified as Jeremy Ethon Roberson, died during the shootout. Police Capt. Dwayne Ready said it was unclear whether he was shot by officers or killed himself.
Andrea Allen and her daughter, Kiara Renee Allen, were in serious condition at a hospital. The cause of their injuries was not immediately known.
At least a dozen police cars chased Roberson as he raced south on Interstate 45. Authorities shut down much of the road during the pursuit, bringing at least 15 miles of the freeway to a standstill about an hour before rush-hour began.
Authorities learned of Allen and the little girl's disappearance after Allen's mother told police she heard her daughter asking Roberson to let her go during a phone call.
Associated Press Writer Juan A. Lozano contributed to this report.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.