Wooster, OH - A manhunt is underway for an armed and dangerous suspect who shot at police officers during a vehicle pursuit early Tuesday morning.
Police are looking for James “Bubba” Schmidt, a fugitive who led police on a chase, crashed, and then stole an SUV to get away.
Schmidt's last known address was 9541 Back Orville Road in Orville. He is 5'5" tall, weighs around 135 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes.
Wayne County Sheriff Travis Hutchinson posted a Facebook live video shortly after the incident asking for the public’s help, but warning them to call police if they see the suspect.
“Obviously he’s armed. Obviously, a very dangerous situation,” Sheriff Hutchinson said in the video.
“An individual fired upon several law enforcement officers striking several cruisers … this led into a pursuit … the man ran his car off the road then engaged the officers with additional gunfire, again striking several cruisers,” he said.
Police vehicles from both the Wooster Police and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office were struck by bullets, Sheriff Hutchinson said.
The incident began at about 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 5, when the Wooster Police Department received information that Schmidt was at the Walmart located at 3883 Burbank Road.
Officers responded to the Walmart to try and apprehend Schmidt, who got into a car with a female inside when officers approached.
Schmidt then led officers on a high speed vehicle pursuit through Wayne County, during which he fired at police officers and hit several police cruisers, according to WJW .
The pursuit continued to the Orrville area, where Schmidt lost control of his vehicle and ran off the side of the road. He got out of the vehicle and began shooting again at officers, who returned fire.
Schmidt then fled on foot, broke into a home, and stole the keys to an SUV. He then went into a detached garage, and backed the truck out, right through the garage door.
Sheriff Hutchinson asked the public to be on the lookout for a 2006 GMC Envoy with license plate EKS 2816. The back of the vehicle sustained heavy damage when Schmidt busted through the garage.
No one was injured during the gunfight.
Schmidt has multiple outstanding orders for arrest for charges of assault, aggravated menacing, improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle, carrying a concealed weapon, weapons under disability, resisting arrest, and obstruction of official business. Additional charges are expected.
Anyone with information on Schmidt's location is asked to call the Wooster Police Detective Bureau at 330-287-5720.