Rape, murder suspect shot in chase

Police are investigating a series of events from late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning in which a woman was raped, a man was murdered and another man sustained gunshot wounds in a city an hour southwest of Bloomington.

Indiana State Police suspect Roger Nicholson, 39, of Loogootee, Ind., drove to Red Wing Mobile Home Park in Lowell, Ind., Tuesday night, picked up a woman, drove her to a rural area on County Road 1300 East in Daviess County and raped her, according to an ISP news release. Police say Nicholson then drove her back to the trailer park and dropped her off.

The relationship between Nicholson and the victim will not be released because of the investigation, ISP Sgt. Todd Ringle said in the release.

Early Wednesday morning, police responded to the same trailer park after receiving a 911 call saying shots had been fired in the area. When police arrived, they found that Ronald Blackmon, 41, had been shot. He was transported to Daviess Community Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Police believe Blackmon, who also lives in the trailer park, was visiting the rape victim's family in a nearby trailer when Nicholson arrived, confronted Blackmon and shot him twice with a .410-gauge shotgun. When police reached the scene, the rape victim was not at the trailer, but her two children were.

Police received a tip that Nicholson was using the telephone at Casey's General Store in Dugger, Ind. When an officer arrived, Nicholson had already left. A Sullivan County sheriff's deputy saw Nicholson's vehicle on County Road 700 East. The officer tried to stop the vehicle, and Nicholson allegedly ran off the road and into a ditch.

Indiana State Police said in its news release officers don't know "at this time" whether Nicholson shot himself or whether police shot him.

Nicholson was being treated Wednesday at Sullivan County Community Hospital.

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