ST. MARY'S, Ohio (WFFT) — A Cincinnati man is dead after shooting himself in the car while deputies tried to arrest him in connection to multiple armed robberies Friday afternoon.
The Mercer County Sheriff's Office said the man, identified as 22-year-old Raepheal A. Dell, was a suspect in multiple robberies in Indiana and Ohio.
MCSO said they received an alert from nearby law enforcement agencies that a man who was suspected in violent crimes in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Van Wert County.
Authorities said early Friday, Dell was released from the Kosciusko County, Indiana Jail.
Sometime later, they said Dell stole the car from Kosciusko County that he was found in.
Authorities said Dell was the suspect in a Fort Wayne burglary/robbery where the robbery victim was allegedly shot by him.
Then deputies said Dell was also identified as a suspect in the second robbery that happened in Van Wert County.
Mercer County Deputies were told that Dell was possibly in the Saint Mary’s area because they pinged a cell phone that he stole during the Van Wert County robbery.
Shortly after 5 p.m. Friday, deputies said they found Dell on U.S. Highway 33 at the intersection of Kuck Road in St. Mary’s on the side of the road putting gas in his car.
Dell was using a gas can to put gas into the car on the eastbound side of the roadway.
Deputies said they told Dell to stop moving, but he ignored them and go back in his car.
MCSO said "within seconds of entering the vehicle" the deputy heard a gunshot and called for backup.
When more officers arrived at the scene and approached the car they said Dell shot himself in the head with an AK-47.
Witnesses told police that Dell apparently ran out of gas at U.S. 33 and Kuck Road.
During that time a pick-up truck stopped and Dell tried to enter the truck, so the driver left.
Shortly after the truck left, witnesses said another vehicle stopped to help Dell.
Then Dell got into the vehicle and it went to TSC in St. Mary’s where a woman went inside Tractor Supply Co. alone and purchased a one-gallon gas can.
After that, they went to the Shell gas station in St. Mary’s to buy gas.
Investigators have not identified the people who stopped to help, but said they would like to speak to them.
They are not considered to be suspects, according to police.
This incident remains under investigation.