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Dakota Steagall

‘He didn’t even hesitate’: Ohio man killed girlfriend, kidnapped her 7-week-old daughter

An Ohio man who shot his girlfriend to death before kidnapping her 7-week-old daughter was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Thursday morning.

Police claimed Dakota M. Steagall, 20, killed Kaitlyn Carroll-Peak, 22, Wednesday night at in front of his Mansfield apartment building. Steagall is not the father of the baby, according to WOIO.

“She was up there behind that tree and that bush up there hiding from him and he just basically walked up there and shot her four or five more times,” witness James Rusk told the station. “He didn’t even hesitate. She said, ‘Oh my God,’ and he shot her four more times.”

Rusk claimed he saw an unbothered Steagall get back to his car. What followed was a manhunt for Steagall which ended early Thursday when Mansfield police laid out spikes on a Wooster exit ramp. The 20-year-old fatally shot himself as officers approached, according to FOX 8.

Mansfield police Capt. Shari Robertson announced in a Thursday 2 am press release that the 7-week-old was located and is unharmed. Authorities said the baby was found at Steagall’s relative’s home in Ashland.

At a Thursday afternoon press conference, Mansfield police Chief Ken Coontz claimed Steagall and Carroll-Peak were mired in an argument in the apartment’s parking lot. While in the car, Coontz said Steagall shot at her as the baby sat in the back seat, according to the Mansfield News-Journal.

The suspect’s father, Phillip Steagall, said his son was addicted to K2, a synthetic cannabinoid. Also called Spice, K2 has several alarming side effects, including psychotic episodes, seizures, and loss of control.

“Dakota in a straight mind would not have this. Would never have happened. He was a very good kid.”

Phillip also claimed Dakota called him shortly after the deadly shooting to confess to what he did. The father also said that his son would go through “jealousy streaks” and had mentioned wanting to hurt his girlfriend.

“I suggest to anybody, don’t take things lightly when people mention guns, or they’re going to do harm to anybody because they’re really telling you that that’s what they’re thinking, and they need your help.”

[Feature Photo: Facebook]