Calhoun County chase suspect identified

ANNISTON, AL (WBRC) - Authorities identified a man Monday who they say led police on a high-speed pursuit through Anniston and Calhoun County Sunday night before dying in a brief standoff.

In a news release to FOX6 News, Calhoun County Sheriff Larry Amerson said Raymond Versansky, 36, of Wellington, died after authorities shot him just north of the Highway 144 intersection in Alexandria Valley.  Versansky died on the scene.

The sheriff's office said the chase began in Anniston when police began pursuing Versansky in a pickup truck for driving reckless and running several stop signs.  Versansky led the officers out of Anniston on Old Gadsden Highway and north on U.S. Highway 431, reaching speeds of 80 miles per hour and often driving on the wrong side of the road towards oncoming traffic. Deputies attempted to disable his vehicle using "stop sticks" but with no luck.

Just north of Highway 144, deputies were given permission to use a so-called "pit maneuver" to stop Versansky.  The deputy "pitted" Versansky's truck, causing the vehicle to spin and then roll into a ditch.  Versansky then stood up in the overturned truck, holding officers and deputies off with a knife.  Deputies said Versansky was then tased, but pulled out the prongs.  A second officer tased him again, and Versansky attempted to cut the wires with the knife.
Deputies said Versansky then tried to move towards two of the officers with the knife.  Officers and deputies responded with multiple gunshots.  One deputy immediately began first aid and paramedics arrived a few minutes later to help, but Versansky was pronounced dead at the scene.