GALLATIN COUNTY, Ky. (WLWT) — Days after police say a woman from Mansfield, Ohio was abducted by the father of her child and both were killed after a high-speed chase ended in gunfire in Oldham County, Kentucky, the man who called 911 to help her spoke with NBC affiliate WLWT in Cinncinnati.
He said he is still reflecting on how he reacted at a gas station in Gallatin County, where he was just stopping for coffee, and wonders if he could’ve done something differently.
He knew Skylar Williams needed help, and he did what he could to keep everyone safe.
“I’ll remember that name for probably the rest of my life,” Todd Simpson said.
Simpson is talking about Williams, a woman he saw walk into the gas station Monday, holding hands with Ty’rell Pounds.
“When they walked in, that girl, Skylar Williams, looked me right in the face and said ‘Help me.’ I mean, she didn’t say it out loud, she just, you know, mouthed it, ‘Help me,'” Simpson said.
He said he walked outside to get help.
“I grabbed my gun and my phone, called 911. I told them what happened. I said, ‘I need a police officer here now,'” Simpson said.
While on the line with 911, Pounds and Williams came outside, according to Simpson.
He said he told Pounds to stop.
Simpson said the pair got into a dark-colored Dodge Caravan we’ve learned was a stolen rental with Quebec tags, and Pounds sped off onto southbound I-71.
Then, a chase ensued into Oldham County, with Kentucky State Police and other agencies eventually stopping the van with a pit maneuver at the Crestwood entrance ramp.
KSP said Pounds was wearing a bulletproof vest and was armed.
They also said he shot Williams, who was pronounced dead at the University of Louisville Hospital.
A Kentucky State trooper shot and killed Pounds.
“I just keep seeing that girl’s face telling me to help her. I think I did the best I could, but I just wish I could have done something better,” Simpson said.
KSP Commissioner Rick Sanders commended Simpson’s quick action at a news conference Wednesday.
“When you’re confronted with someone with a weapon, what we tell people to do is call the police, so, I think they responded appropriately and I really appreciate them calling us to notify us,” Sanders said.
Investigators said Pounds abducted Williams at gunpoint at the Ohio State University Mansfield campus.
Now, Simpson can’t help but think of Williams’ family.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t have done more. I don’t know what to say. I can’t imagine how they feel,” he said.
Simpson has children himself, so this situation in particular tugs at his heart. He said he can’t imagine losing his children.
Kentucky State Police said Trooper Joey Brown, a 5 year veteran who shot Pounds, is on administrative leave while an investigation is underway.
KSP describes Brown as an exemplary officer and said he has no disciplinary issues in his file.