Tuesday, September 11, 2001

Man wounded in shootout

By Ray Schaefer
Enquirer Contributor

        ERLANGER — Police may not have found — or shot — a Florence man suspected in an April robbery if a car's parking lights had not been left on.

        Terry Moss of Florence was listed in critical condition Monday at University Hospital with multiple gunshot wounds. He was shot in the car early Sunday in the parking lot of the Howard Johnson Express Inn on Donaldson Road.

        Erlanger Police Lt. Col. Marc Fields said his officers first noticed the 1979 Dodge in the motel parking lot around 10 p.m. Saturday.

        “They saw the parking lights on, and nobody was in the car,” Lt. Col. Fields said.

        When officers returned to the motel around midnight, Mr. Moss was in the car, Lt. Col. Fields said. Erlanger Officer Patrick Yarusso saw Mr. Moss and determined he had an outstanding warrant for first-degree robbery and was considered armed and dangerous.

        Mr. Moss is one of two suspects in the April 25 robbery of a man in Union.

        Erlanger Sgt. Darryl Jouett joined Officer Yarusso and approached the car.

        Police said the officers repeatedly asked Mr. Moss to get out of the car, but he refused.

        Instead, Mr. Moss pulled out a .22-caliber pistol, pointed and fired at Officer Yarusso. Both officers returned fire, and Mr. Moss then shot himself.

        Lt. Col. Fields said a room at the Howard Johnson's was registered to a second suspect in the Union robbery. He did not name the other person, and he did not know why either suspect was in Erlanger.

        Police had been concentrating their investigation in the robbery on the vicinity of the motel. Lt. Col. Fields said Mr. Moss and the other suspect frequented Peel's Palace, located on Donaldson Road next to the motel and the Super Bowl bowling complex about a quarter-mile away on Commonwealth Avenue.

        The shooting is the first time Erlanger officers fired on a suspect since 1987. Officer Yarusso and Sgt. Jouett are on administrative leave, a routine procedure while a shooting involving officers is investigated.


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