Police arrested one suspect and are searching for another after they fired shots during a carjacking in Pleasant Prairie and then had their stolen vehicle struck by a train near Zion.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 4 a.m. Thursday for a report of a train that struck a vehicle on the Canadian Pacific railroad tracks just north of Route 173 east of Route 41 in unincorporated Zion.
Sheriff’s deputies arrived and quickly determined the 2005 Toyota sedan that was struck by the train had been stolen earlier in the morning during an armed robbery at a gas station in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.
During the armed robbery, two male offenders, both described as being Hispanic men, approximately 5-foot-8, average build, wearing masks, stole the vehicle.
Shots were reportedly fired during the armed robbery by one or both offenders, according to Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli.
The person who called 911 to report the train and vehicle crash informed deputies that the vehicle was stuck on the railroad tracks in the 42600 block of Kilbourne Road just prior to being hit by the train.
The vehicle was not in a railroad crossing when it was struck and was in an area that no vehicle should have been, Covelli said.
The vehicle was struck by a southbound freight train and pushed for nearly one mile. Nobody was inside the vehicle when the train struck it.
Lake County sheriff’s deputies located one individual at the scene of the crash who matched the description of one of the armed robbery offenders.
He was taken into custody and subsequently turned over to Pleasant Prairie Police Department.
The other offender was not immediately located near the crash scene.
Because the second offender was possibly armed, numerous sheriff’s deputies, a sheriff’s canine team and sheriff’s drones searched the area in an attempt to locate him.
He was not located and the sheriff’s canine at the scene did not pick up the scent of the second individual during the area search, Covelli said.
It is believed the second suspect exited the vehicle somewhere following the armed robbery but prior to the crash as there was more than an hour between the armed robbery and the crash.
The second individual is no longer believed to be in the area, Covelli said. The investigation is ongoing.