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Police looking for suspect in high-speed chase who caused lockdown at OdySea in the Desert

The complex that houses OdySea Aquarium and Butterfly Wonderland was locked down as police searched for the suspect after the car chase.
Credit: Sky 12
Police searching for the suspect in a high-speed chase in front of Butterfly Wonderland in the OdySea in the Desert complex.

Salt River police are looking for a suspect after he led authorities on a chase on Loop 101 Thursday afternoon.

Police said an officer tried to stop a vehicle speeding on the freeway near Indian School Road, but the driver failed to stop and tried to evade police.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety joined the pursuit until the suspect exited the freeway and crashed into several cars at the off-ramp at Via Ventura. 

After the suspect crashed into cars at the intersection, he ran from the car in the direction of the complex that houses OdySea Aquarium and Butterfly Wonderland near Scottsdale. 

Police put the entire complex on lockdown as they searched for the suspect. The visitors were released after about two hours, police said. 

The suspect is still outstanding. He is wanted for excessive speeding and fleeing the scene of an injury accident, according to police. 

Police did not give a description of the suspect. 

OdySea in the Desert sent a statement about the lockdown, saying many of the visitors had left by the time the lockdown happened Thursday. The attractions at the complex will be open Friday during their normal hours: 

"At approximately 3:45 p.m. today, the venues at OdySea in the Desert were locked down in response to an incident that occurred off property involving a suspect fleeing police, potentially heading toward OdySea in the Desert.  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, June 14) with regular operating hours."