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Wednesday
Oct302013

Florida Man Kidnaps Woman, Kills Himself After Police Chase

ABC News(DAYTONA, Fla.) -- A wild police chase along Interstate 95 in Florida came to an end early Tuesday morning when a man fatally shot himself after allegedly kidnapping his former girlfriend.

Brett Lee Curtis, 28, of Lakeland, Fla., called 911 four times during the 100-mph chase that began in Daytona after he said he had kidnapped Elizabeth Hamilton, 26.  Curtis warned the 911 operator that if officers didn't stop pursing him, he would kill the woman.

"We're going south on I-95.  If he continues to follow me, I will fire a warning shot. The third shot will not be a warning," Curtis told the 911 operator.

"You've got three officers ganging up on me right now and I have enough ammunition to kill her and myself," he added.

At one point, Curtis handed the phone to Hamilton, who told 911 that he had multiple guns in the vehicle.

"I have been kidnapped and we're being followed and he's going to kill me if they keep following him," Hamilton pleaded to the 911 operator.

The harrowing ordeal finally came to an end when police punctured the car's tires and Hamilton managed to escape uninjured before Curtis took his own life.

"I didn't know what he was going to do.  I was freaking out the entire time," Hamilton told ABC News in an interview Tuesday.

The terrifying ordeal began Monday night when police say Curtis grabbed Hamilton from her job at Lakeland Square Mall.  Hamilton was scheduled to meet a judge Tuesday about getting a permanent injunction against Curtis.

After Hamilton's mother reported her missing, police immediately turned their attention to Curtis and issued a statewide be-on-the-lookout alert for him and his vehicle.  A South Daytona police officer noticed Curtis driving a white Nissan Altima around 3 a.m. and attempted to stop him.

A police chase ensued and Curtis warned authorities in his first call to 911 that he was going to start shooting.

"Yeah, I'm being followed by the police with his lights on.  I am the gentleman from Lakeland.  I have kidnapped my ex-fiancé," Curtis said.  "If he continues to follow me, I will kill her.  That is your final warning."

Hamilton was terrified as she watched Curtis lead police on a wild chase.  At one point during the chase, Curtis fired at police.

"It hit one point where he looked over at me and said, 'Three hours ago this seemed to be a good idea, now I'm not so sure,'" Hamilton recounted.

"The entire time I was in the car with him I tried talking to him, saying that you got to do the right thing here, all I want is to be with my family right now.  I want to go home," she said.

In the final 911 call, Hamilton told police Curtis was armed with a rifle and a 9-mm pistol and he was going to drive her home.

"If they try to stop us before then, you're going to get hurt," Curtis can be overheard telling Hamilton, who was still on the phone with 911.

After a 45-minute chase, police finally punctured Curtis' tires using stop sticks on I-95 in Brevard County.

"There were eight police cars behind us, lights so bright, and they were screaming, and he started screaming get out of the car.  He told me to get out of the car, so I did," Hamilton said.  "He wasn't asking me to get back together with him.  He wanted me to spend the last moments of his life with him."

Hamilton escaped the car unharmed and police found Curtis in the car dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Hamilton said she originally filed a restraining order against Curtis three months ago because he was stalking her after the relationship ended.  But the stalking eventually turned into threats, according to Hamilton, after she refused to get back with him.

"He threatened my life," she said, "and then he threatened my family's."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio