By Steven Ranson
Lahontan Valley News
FALLON - The names of a man who was killed after a running gun battle through the desert between Schurz and Fallon and the man killed in a traffic accident caused by the chase were released Friday.
Payton, Colo., resident Eric J. Allen, 22, was identified as the shooter who took over the wheel of a Chrysler PT Cruiser during a traffic stop south of Schurz on Thursday.
Richland, Mo., resident Walter A. Summers, 75, was killed in the collision that ended the chase and resulted in the shoot-out between law enforcement officers and Allen.
The incident began at about 5 a.m. Thursday when Walker River Tribal Police stopped a southbound vehicle for going 80 mph in a 40-mph zone on the reservation.
NHP Spokesman Trooper Chuck Allen said the passenger, later identified as Allen, pushed the driver, 20-year-old Cory Reed of Little Rock, Ark., from the PT Cruiser, slid over the console and sped away heading toward Hawthorne. As the driver approached Hawthorne, he made a U-turn on Highway 95 and proceeded to head north. Allen said Mineral County sheriff deputies joined in the pursuit until they reached the Lyon County line. Allen said Tribal Police took over.
A high-speed pursuit covered the 40 miles from the Walker River Indian Reservation to Fallon.
The Churchill County Sheriff Ben Trotter said three deputies were dispatched to help Tribal Police before the Allen entered the city limits.
One of the deputies, Ken Catlin, was traveling south on Highway 95 when he passed the pursuit going the other way. After he turned to join the pursuit, the driver of the P.T. Cruiser fired at least four shots at Catlin's windshield with one bullet hitting on the driver's side. Catlin pulled off near Berney Road. Catlin was injured, possibly by pieces of the windshield hitting him in the face. Trotter said Catlin was treated and released.
At least one pickup was run off the highway by the PT Cruiser, and another vehicle was either hit or run off the road. Allen said neither driver was injured, and the NHP is investigating the exact cause of those two minor accidents.
As the PT Cruiser neared Highway 50, it collided head-on with Summers' Hyundai at the corner of Taylor and Center streets.
The driver, Allen, exchanged gunfire with law enforcement officers after the crash. He died a short time later, but the cause has not been released.
Reed was arrested in Schurz and booked into Mineral County Jail on charges of reckless driving and not having a valid drivers license and insurance.