Coroner IDs two suspects shot by troopers at hostage incident near Dayton airport

VANDALIA — The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office has identified the two people, described as suspects, shot by Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) troopers during an hours-long standoff and hostage situation in Vandalia Wednesday morning.

The coroner’s office identified the man and woman Thursday as 54-year-old Rodney Helman and 51-year-old Elaine Helman. Their last known address was in Vandalia, a spokesperson for the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) confirmed to News Center 7 Thursday afternoon.

Troopers shot both Rodney and Elaine who are accused of carjacking a semitrailer in Madison County and holding the driver hostage during a multi-county chase that ended on Dayton International Airport Access Road.

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They were both taken to Miami Valley Hospital. It was there that Elaine died from her injuries. Rodney was originally listed in critical condition, however, state troopers said he later died from his injuries.

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The incident started around 1 a.m. when London police attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the pair’s vehicle. As an officer was conducting the stop, they drove away. Police Chief Glenn Nicol said they drove to a truck stop outside of London.

Once at the truck stop, the pair got out of their vehicle and began to run. When an officer tried to tase them, Rodney pointed a gun at the officer.

They then carjacked a Werner semi with the driver inside of it. As they drove away, the truck hit a London police cruiser.

Law enforcement chased them in the semi through Clark, Greene, Madison, and Montgomery counties before ending near the Dayton International Airport just before 3:30 a.m. From there, negotiations started with both Rodney and Elaine.

OSHP’s Special Response Team (SRT) was also called to the scene around this time.

Approximately 4 hours later, around 7:30 a.m., members of the SRT approached the semi to try and get the victim out, according to OSHP Lieutenant Nathan Dennis. At that point, Dennis said one of the two fired shots at the SRT members. Troopers returned fire, hitting both of them.

The hostage was removed from the semi and had minor injuries.

A spokesperson for BCI confirmed to News Center 7 Wednesday morning that they were requested to investigate the shooting.

It’s not currently known if any troopers are on administrative leave pending the investigation of the shooting.

Dayton International Airport Access Road remained closed between Interstate 70 and US 40 but has since been reopened.

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