ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida authorities shot and killed a man believed to be the suspect in a string of deadly crimes along the East Coast.
A man believed to be William T. Ashby, 37, of Savannah, Ga., led police on a high-speed chase in Florida before he crashed his vehicle Monday night, said Chuck Mulligan, a St. Johns County sheriff's spokesman.
When he began driving toward officers holding a gun, sheriff's deputies from St. Johns and Flagler counties opened fire, killing him, Mulligan said.
Sheriff David Shoar announced Tuesday evening that an autopsy has positively identified the gunman as Ashby.
Authorities were investigating his possible involvement in the death of University of Virginia graduate student Elizabeth "Lizzy" Hafter, 22. She was found dead in Waynesboro, Va., near a car Ashby is believed to have stolen in Effingham County, Ga.
Authorities said they believe he shot a convenience store clerk before stealing the car. The clerk, Waynetta Toler, 58, remains in the hospitalized in Savannah, Ga., police said.
The crime spree began Sept. 22 when Ashby stole a vehicle in Savannah and then stole a friend's .38-caliber pistol, police said.
Ashby has been linked to the double murder of Ralph Hopper and Julie Maiden, two employees working at the Tunnel Two Package Store in Cumberland Gap, Tenn.