Woman involved in Collier County carjacking dies

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EAST NAPLES, Fla.- A woman involved in a carjacking and chase on Tamiami Trail East has died, said the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspect has been identified as 46-year-old Michelle Esch, also known as Michelle Burg.

Just before 12:30 p.m., deputies responded to an attempted carjacking at Sunshine Ace Hardware on the 4400 block of Tamiami Trail East.

Witnesses say the suspect tried to steal a semi-truck but was unsuccessful and then ran to the nearby Boca Bargoons. Once again, deputies say the woman attempted to carjack someone but failed.

After running to a Perkins restaurant on the 4300 block of Tamiami Trail East, the suspect was able to carjack an elderly couple’s vehicle.

“I never really seen anything like that before in person, it’s kinda something you see in the movies, so it was pretty surreal,” said Frank Russo.

Deputies spotted the woman driving the stolen car on Tamiami Trail and confronted her near the Treviso Bay community entrance.

“I looked up and I saw a red, undercover cop T-bone another car,” said Russo. “Couple other cops surrounded him, a minute or two later there was like five or six gunshots fired. We kind of just sat around and waited to see if whoever it was, was alive. I saw them take him off the gurney and put in the ambulance, him or her, trying to resuscitate.”

The sheriff’s office is still investigating the motive behind the carjackings.

“Several detectives there are trying to find out, piece the story on what actually happened and what was her reasoning for all this,” said Cpl. Efrain Hernandez.

None of the deputies involved in the shooting were injured. Per policy, those deputies will be placed on administrative leave while an internal investigation is completed to make sure the deputies acted accordingly.



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