Woman, 22, shot and killed in suspected Mansfield murder-suicide

Posted at 6:53 AM, Mar 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-09 18:19:46-05

Authorities say domestic violence played a role in a suspected murder-suicide in Mansfield overnight.

Kaitlyn Star Carroll-Peak, 22, was shot and killed. Dakota Steagall, 20, later shot himself. 

The pair was seen arguing in Peak's car at the Brookwood Way apartments Wednesday night as the woman's infant daughter was in the back seat. 

Police say Steagall opened fire in the car and Peak ran off. 

News 5 spoke with a man who put his own life at risk to help Carroll-Peak. Jerral Rusk was sitting inside his apartment when he heard the 22-year old pleading for her life.

"I heard her say oh my God and then the gunshots," said Rusk.

That's when Rusk jumped up and ran to his front door.

"Opening the door was probably a bad idea, but at the time, I wanted him to leave her alone," said Rusk.

Rusk tells News 5 Carroll that Peak was hiding from Dakota Steagall behind a tree in front of his apartment when she was shot. Another neighbor could be heard on the call telling dispatchers Carroll-Peak was shot five times.

Rusk said there wasn't much he could do to help.

"She was already gone. He shot her in the head," said Rusk.

Steagall then stole Peak's car with the baby still inside and drove to Ashland, where he left the infant with a family member there. 

"The Peak family was instrumental in helping identify where the child was at which got officers going in the right direction," police said at a news conference Thursday. 

A short time later, officers in Wayne County spotted the stolen car. 

Steagall led police on a high-speed chase, which ended on an exit ramp at Route 30 East and Route 3. 

For more than two hours, negotiators called for Steagall to surrender. The SWAT team sent a robot to the car where they found Steagall inside, dead from a self-indicted gunshot wound.

According to court records, Peak filed a protection order against Steagall in 2015 but it was dropped because she did not appear in court.