Pinellas Park murder suspect killed in Pennsylvania police shootout

- Pennsylvania authorities say a fugitive Pinellas Park murder suspect was shot and killed after he fled from an attempted traffic stop, crashed his vehicle, and exchanged gunfire with officers.

Pinellas Park police have been looking for Steven Brooks of St. Petersburg -- who also goes by the name Siddeeq Ma'Shooq -- after, they say, he fatally shot 59-year-old Caroline Morton-Hicks following an orchestra rehearsal at the Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center back on February 12. 

Wednesday, investigators said they spotted Brooks in Alabama. Local law enforcement and U.S. Marshals tried to take him into custody, but barricaded himself inside the home of his girlfriends' parents, then escaped.

Now, state police in Pennsylvania say officers tried to stop the 45-year-old on Interstate 79 in South Strabane late Thursday. They say Brooks drove away and went the wrong way down a ramp from Interstate 79 to Interstate 70 before crashing his stolen truck into a bridge support column around 11:30 p.m.

Brooks then allegedly fled on foot and pulled a gun on officers, trading gunfire with them. He was shot in the exchange and pronounced dead around 1:40 a.m. Friday.

No other injuries were reported in the incident, which remains under investigation. 

Court records show that Morton-Hicks was Brooks' landlord. An eviction notice filed after the murder shows he had fallen behind on his rent.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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