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Police searching for a suspect near Butterfly Wonderland after pursuit

Posted at 4:23 PM, Jun 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-14 01:17:46-04

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — Police are searching for a suspect near Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale following a brief pursuit on Thursday afternoon.

In an evening update, officials on scene told ABC15 that at 3:41 p.m. a Salt River Police Officer saw a vehicle speeding on the Loop 101 and tried to initiate a traffic stop, but the driver continued and reached "excessive speeds," causing authorities to end the pursuit.

According to the Department of Public Safety, troopers assisted Salt River police in the pursuit and spotted the vehicle on the highway and began to follow the suspect until the driver exited onto East Via de Ventura and crashed into another car. The driver then fled from the scene.

Police said four people were hurt in the crash and taken to area hospitals. Information regarding the extent of their injuries or conditions was not immediately available.

A spokesperson with OdySea in the Desert said the entire complex was placed under lockdown for several hours while police searched for the suspect.

Around 7:30 p.m. authorities began escorting visitors out building by building as they continued their search for the suspect in the area. Multiple agencies, including air units and canine officers, worked to secure the complex.

OdySea in the Desert released the following statement:

"Every establishment followed proper protocol and the lockdown was immediately enacted. Being later in the day, many visitors had already left the property and the remaining guests were made aware of the lockdown situation. Staff at all venues worked diligently to keep visitors informed and comfortable, accommodating any requests for food/drinks or other needs. Lockdown was lifted venue by venue with local law enforcement in high presence, carefully escorting guests and employees to their cars and safely seeing them off property. Law enforcement personnel then swept each venue as a precaution. The safety and well-being of our guests and employees is a top priority at OdySea in the Desert. We are grateful for the quick and meticulous response today from local and state law enforcement agencies who worked hand in hand with OdySea in the Desert officials and security to ensure the safety of all involved. The shops, restaurants and attractions at OdySea in the Desert will open tomorrow (Friday, May 14) with regular operating hours.

As of Thursday evening, the suspect has not been found. The driver is now wanted for speeding and causing a hit-and-run crash.

Stay with ABC15 and for updates on this developing story.