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Gay bar attack suspect captured in gunfight

Two killed, suspect wounded following traffic stop in Arkansas

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(CNN) -- An 18-year-old suspected in hatchet attacks and shootings at a Massachusetts gay bar was captured 1,200 miles away Saturday after killing a police officer and the passenger in his vehicle, authorities said.

Jacob Robida, of New Bedford, Massachusetts, was wounded during a gunfight in Norfork, Arkansas, and taken to a hospital in Springfield, Missouri, about 130 miles away, said state police spokesman Bill Sadler.

New Bedford police spokesman Capt. Richard Spirlet said Robida was in critical condition. (Watch authorities explain how Robida was apprehended -- 1:51)

Robida was wanted on three counts of attempted murder and hate crimes in connection with attacks late Wednesday in a New Bedford gay bar called Puzzles Lounge.

A bartender there said that Robida came into the bar and had two drinks before pulling out a hatchet and hitting two patrons in the head. He then brandished a gun and shot the two patrons and a third customer, the bartender said.

A manhunt ensued, but there had been no trace of Robida until 2:30 p.m. Saturday, when state police responded to a call stating that Gassville, Arkansas, police officer Jim Sell, 63, had been shot, Sadler said.

At a news conference in New Bedford, Bristol County District Attorney Paul Walsh said that Sell had made a routine traffic stop on Robida's car.

"As the officer approached the car, he was shot twice and killed," Walsh said.

Witnesses said they saw a green Pontiac with Kentucky license plates leaving the scene. Police had been looking for a Pontiac with Massachusetts plates.

A state trooper saw the car about 15 minutes later on Arkansas Highway 201, and began pursuit, Sadler said.

Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery told The Associated Press that Robida sped over spikes laid down by state troopers, but continued to drive on two punctured tires into the town of Norfork. There Robida swerved into several parked vehicles to avoid a police barricade.

Walsh said that Robida's car spun 180 degrees and was the facing the officers' vehicles.

"Our best information is that at that point he shot and killed the woman in the car," Walsh said.

Robida then began firing through his windshield at the officers, and "police opened fire, hitting him twice in the head," Walsh said.

The name of the passenger has not been released, and Walsh said that she was not from New Bedford. Walsh said authorities were still investigating how she ended up in the car with Robida.

Robida's neighbors have described him as a racist, who decorated his room with swastikas. (Watch one of Robida's alleged victims recount the attack at a gay bar -- 2:03)

Robida is a graduate of New Bedford's junior police academy, a program intended to build social skills, self-esteem and self-confidence in children 12 to 14, police said.

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