Suspect in Vehicle Pursuit Reportedly Commits Suicide Following Standoff in Sac County

The suspect in a vehicle pursuit that went through multiple area counties killed himself following a lengthy standoff with law enforcement in Sac County.

According to Sac County Sheriff Ken McClure, shortly before 3:20pm last Friday, June 14th, the Sac County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the pursuit in Crawford County that was headed north toward Ida and Sac Counties. The suspect vehicle was a Lincoln Navigator that had reportedly been stolen out of Woodbury County earlier that morning. The suspect identified as Jason French of Manilla was wanted on a felony warrant out of South Dakota. French allegedly was in possession of a handgun, and had made threats to harm officers.

At the time Crawford County terminated the pursuit, an Ida County Deputy located the suspect vehicle in southeastern Ida County and pursued the vehicle into southwest Sac County. The chase continued northbound. Attempts to stop the vehicle using stop sticks were unsuccessful. Sac County Deputies and the Iowa State Patrol maintained the pursuit south of Early to the area of Jackson Avenue and 290th Street. The vehicle continued into a field and came to rest in a ditch after making contact with a fence. French was seen exiting the vehicle with a handgun. Communication attempts were made with a PA system, and Iowa State Patrol aircraft and Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Office drones were utilized to make overhead observations of French’s movements. Crisis negotiators and tactical teams from Storm Lake and Buena Vista County were dispatched to the scene.

A standoff lasted approximately two hours until a gunshot was heard. Drone footage confirmed French was no longer moving, and he was found dead with a handgun located nearby. Preliminary results verify French died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. No shots were fired by law enforcement.

The Sac, Buena Vista, and Ida County Sheriff’s Office’s responded to the incident as well as the Storm Lake, Sac City, and Lake View Police Department’s, Sac County EMS, Odebolt Fire Department, Iowa State Patrol, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources.