It happened after a police chase and a search shut down part of US-64 near Zebulon in Wake County, disrupting traffic in the area for hours and forcing schools to close.
Police said officers in the 4000 block of Capital Boulevard attempted a traffic stop on the vehicle, which was believed to be involved in a kidnapping Tuesday around 4:30 a.m.
The driver sped off, with the kidnapping victim inside, leading police on a chase that eventually ended with the driver stopping on US-64/I-87 at Exit 436 and running off.
.@raleighpolice have not confirmed how a kidnapping suspect died, but say there was an officer-involved shooting this morning after an hours-long chase and manhunt near Zebulon. RPD: kidnapping victim is safe. Eastbound lanes of I-87 (US-64) still closed. @ABC11_WTVD #ABC11 pic.twitter.com/mo5Ig9cfwT— Andrea Blanford (@AndreaABC11) September 24, 2019
A woman inside the car was found safe.
Police said the suspect, 23-year-old Hugo Yaret Cortes-Ramirez, fired multiple shots as he fled into the woods and a Raleigh police officer returned fire.
Around 10:45 a.m., police confirmed the suspect was dead. On Tuesday afternoon, police said Cortes-Ramirez was found dead in the woods with a pistol in his hand.
The SBI is investigating as is standard when officers fire weapons.
Nearly 30 police cars closed eastbound lanes of US-64 at Exit 436. The closure lasted until just after 2 p.m. on eastbound US-64 near the US-64/US-264 interchange, which NCDOT says is now Interstate 87.
Zebulon Elementary School, Wakelon Elementary School, Zebulon Middle School, and East Wake Academy all closed for the day.
East Wake Academy released the following statement about the closure:
"We have been in contact with ZPD. The current situation around EWA has not improved. Roads are closed and there is a heavy police presence. EWA will be closed today for the safety and well being of our students and staff. We are sorry. We will provide more updates once they are available."