Support local journalism. Unlock unlimited digital access to floridatoday.com Click here and subscribe today.
The 42-year-old Cocoa Beach man who took two women hostage Saturday night, shooting one of them before leading law enforcement on a chase that spanned multiple counties, knew at least one of the hostages, the Sheriff's Office said.
"The belief is that this was some type of a domestic (dispute)," Brevard County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Tod Goodyear told WESH 2 News in a video statement. "It appears there was a relationship possibly between the suspect and (the woman who was shot). Something happened at her residence and she was shot."
Goodyear said the second hostage was the woman's roommate, who came outside to help as Curtis Kimbrough dragged the woman from the residence in the city of Okeechobee.
The chase began when the Osceola County Sheriff's Department was alerted to the shooting on Magnolia Court in the city of Okeechobee at about 8 p.m. Saturday. The area of the address is within Osceola County.
When they arrived at the home, the suspect and women were no longer there, Osceola sheriff's officials said in a statement posted to their Facebook page. They broadcasted an alert to surrounding law enforcement agencies to be on the look out for Kimbrough.
Previous article - gunman killed by deputies: Police fatally shoot hostage-taking gunman in south Brevard after 3-county pursuit
Woman held captive for five days in Cocoa: Sheriff's office: Woman raped, beaten, held hostage for five days at Cocoa man's home
Indian River County Sheriff's Office's involvement began after license plate readers posted along "every entrance point into the county" picked up the vehicle thought to be used in the kidnapping of the two women, said Debbie Carson, spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office.
She said she wasn't sure where the car was when it was scanned by the plate readers notifying law enforcement dispatchers.
The chase traveled through Brevard County and Indian River County on Interstate 95, with Kimbrough shooting at Indian River sheriff's deputies, Sheriff Wayne Ivey said in a video posted to the Brevard County Sheriff's Office Facebook page.
Kimbrough then led deputies into Brevard County, with the chase ending at about midnight on U.S. 1 in Grant when one of the hostages escaped his car.
Kimbrough crashed into a wooded area near Old Dixie Highway and Foley Lane, then took one of the hostages at gunpoint into the woods, with Brevard and Indian River deputies pursuing him, as well as officers from the Sebastian Police Department.
Multiple shots were fired between Kimbrough and deputies before Kimbrough was killed, Ivey said. No law enforcement officers were injured. No names of deputies or police officers involved are being released.
"The good thing was there were a couple tactical officers there, so they were able to come up with a plan and put people in the right places so that, you know, we were safely where we wouldn't be in the crossfire situation," Goodyear said. "That was the biggest concern."
The 41-year-old woman who was shot was in a hospital in serious condition Sunday, while the other hostage, a 33-year-old woman, was treated and released from a local hospital. It was not immediately known Tuesday if the first woman had been released from the hospital.
Deputies from multiple agencies were placed on administrative leave following the shooting. The Brevard County deputies involved were placed on leave, which is sheriff's office protocol for deputy-involved shootings.
Carson said multiple Indian River Sheriff's Office deputies, who were not identified, were on leave after firing their weapons at Kimbrough during the chase.
She said she wasn't sure how many deputies actually fired their weapon though, and that the agency's policy was to withhold their names immediately following the incident.
"It's multiple," said Carson. "It's our policy not to (disclose names) when we have a deputy-involved shooting incident."
Sebastian police, who also participated in the chase through Indian River County, has placed one officer on paid leave who fired a weapon, said Sebastian Police Capt. Timothy Wood
Carson said the Brevard County Sheriff's Office is the lead agency in the investigation.
TCPalm breaking news reporter Corey Arwood in Indian River County contributed to this report.
Support local journalism. Subscribe today.
This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Cocoa Beach gunman may have known one or both hostages, sheriff's office says