Police: Suspect shot and killed uncle on Thanksgiving, led deputies on chase

 James Campbell
James Campbell (WNDU)
Published: Nov. 29, 2019 at 8:31 PM EST
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A man is in custody, accused of shooting and killing his uncle on Thanksgiving before running from police.

"We were just getting done with Thanksgiving dinner, and that is when I heard the sirens."

What resident Amanda Cunningham described was a police chase that happened right outside her home in Starke County on Thanksgiving.

What she didn't know at the time, though, is police were after 52-year-old James Cambpell. Prior to the chase, police say Campbell was visiting his uncle, Randal Bailey, who was spending his Thanksgiving celebrating his 75th birthday at his Knox home.

What happened after that, police, family and friends could not believe.

"There was a verbal argument that ensued. During the verbal argument, Mr. Campbell fired two rounds, one striking Mr. Bailey and the second one, from the evidence, we found was a ricochet," Starke County Chief Detective Adam Abamgray said.

Police say Bailey was killed, and before any of the five witnesses inside could react, Campbell took off, leading police on a half hour police chase.

During the pursuit, Campbell intentionally approached oncoming traffic, using his car as a weapon. At the same time, tires from a trailer connected to his vehicle came flying out on the road.

The pursuit would eventually come to an end.

"At the end, where the pursuit finally ended in a cornfield, the suspect exited his vehicle and began to flee on foot," Abamgray said. "Two deputies pursued on foot after him."

Despite police using a stun gun to subdue him, "he continued to fight and fight off officers," Abamgray said. "At that point, the Knox K-9 was on scene and deployed, and the suspect was taken into custody without further incident."

Cunningham, who captured the chase on home surveillance cameras, says her heart breaks for Bailey's family because this one hits close to home.

"I just lost a cousin not long ago to murder," she said. "It devastates a family, so I do know how they feel, and I wouldn't wish it on anybody."

Campbell is being held at the Starke County Jail without bond. He's expected to be arraigned in court next Wednesday.