Suspect dies as a result of self-inflicted gunshot wound after 22-hour manhunt, and many questions remain

UNION GROVE (WITI) -- Following a nearly 24-hour manhunt, 20-year-old Stan Sillas, wanted in connection with an abduction Sunday, March 22nd in Union Grove was taken into custody -- but not before he shot himself as law enforcement officials approached him -- hiding in the bushes on Taylor Avenue in Mount Pleasant. He died at the hospital on Monday night.

Stan Sillas

The manhunt affected people in multiple counties, and several law enforcement agencies took part. A lot of questions remain in this case, but officials say answers are slowly coming in.

It all started Sunday at the Racine Neurological Center near Waterford. Investigators say Sillas abducted a woman from that facility.

"For unknown reasons, he went inside there to confront a female friend of his," Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said.

Sheriff Schmaling says investigators are still trying to determine what the relationship was between Sillas and that woman. He says Sillas had a gun, and he took the woman to the Piggly Wiggly store in Union Grove. The vehicle Sillas was driving was reported in the store's parking lot.

Sillas was approached by Racine County Sheriff’s deputies and allegedly opened fire. At least two shots were fired — one into a parked squad car with a deputy inside.

"The investigator was sitting in an unmarked car. He was sitting in this driver's seat and the rounds came from the passenger side window and as he exited the vehicle, the glass from the passenger window was falling on the deputy," Sheriff Schmaling said.

That deputy returned fire, but it’s unclear whether Sillas was hit. Sheriff Schmaling says the deputy stopped shooting when he realized how many people were in the parking lot.

Sillas left the woman at the Piggly Wiggly store and ran away. Then, a massive manhunt for Sillas began.

Sheriff Schmaling says during the manhunt, investigators were able to make telephone contact with Sillas -- trying to get him to turn himself in.

"You can imagine the level of resources that got poured into it. To think for a moment -- we had someone who just shot at law enforcement -- tried to literally execute one of my deputies. It required the full force of every available law enforcement official that we had," Sheriff Schmaling said.

Sheriff Schmaling says a tip led them to the 5300 block of Taylor Avenue. They followed Sillas' tracks in the snow to find him. What they don't know is how he got to Taylor Avenue from Piggly Wiggly -- a 22-minute drive.

"I do know one thing -- there`s no way he walked from the Village of Union Grove down these highways all the way to the east end of that community without being detected," Sheriff Schmaling said.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating what happened in the 5300 block of Taylor Avenue -- even though no shots were fired by law enforcement officials. Schmaling says because of what has been happening across the country, he wanted to remove any doubt that law enforcement was involved in Sillas' death.