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'He’s shooting at me': Woman recalls moments she follows armed robbery suspect, helps police locate him

Posted at 7:00 AM, Feb 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 07:03:52-05

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio — “He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun,” said Tina Spencer to a 911 dispatcher Saturday afternoon. Spencer said she never thought her Saturday shopping spree would end with a high-speed chase and gunfire.

“He's shooting me! He's shooting me! He's shooting me,” she yelled to the operator.

Spencer said it all started when she witnessed a man rob Jackson Township’s Dollar General, it struck a nerve.

“I want to walk in there with my kids or grandkids and feel safe. I don’t want to know some guy is holding up some lady at a cash register,” said Spencer.

She said as the man got into his car with the cash, she also got into her car, but she didn’t go home. She dialed 911 and followed him.

Minutes into the chase, Spencer and the suspect reached an intersection and she said he took out a gun and shot at her.

“I had no idea he had a gun,” she said. “We’re in a subdivision and you just shot at me? So, then I got mad. Then I thought if he could shoot at me, then he is going to shoot at someone else, so that’s why I kept following him and I was trying to tell police ‘You gotta get here!’”

Shortly after that, Jackson police did get there and they found the suspect in a residential area in a backyard, sitting on a swing and holding that gun.

“They told me that the police saw him and they were dealing with him and I thought ‘Ok, well I guess I’m done here so I can go,’” she said.

After police convinced the man to drop the gun, he was arrested and is facing several felony charges.

Jackson Township Police Chief Mark Brink credits the work of his officers and Spencer in making sure that everyone got home safe.

“Without her, we don’t know if we would’ve caught this guy or not,” he said.

But he stressed that Spencer was lucky.

“I’m not sure though I would want people to follow like she did for the very reason of what happened to her,” said Brink.

She agreed with Brink.

“Everything I did is probably what you shouldn’t do,” she said. “If I kept him from going to rob someone else, it was so worth it. But I am probably not going to go out and fight crime anymore.”

RELATED: 'You're too young': Jackson Twp. officer encourages armed robbery suspect to surrender peacefully