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A man accused of killing his wife and firing on police during an Interstate 95 chase Thursday has died. Police identified the suspect as Gregory Lee, 42, of Stafford County.

A man accused of killing his wife in southern Stafford County on Thursday before firing on police during a pursuit on Interstate 95 has died, police said Friday morning.

Gregory Lee, 42, of Stafford, was pronounced dead overnight Stafford Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Amanda Vicinanzo said. He had been flown to Fairfax Inova Hospital after apparently shooting himself in the head during the chase.

Police said Friday he died of those wounds.

Lee is accused of killing his wife, Melissa Dee Lee, 36, in the England Run North Apartments on Heron Drive off U.S. 17 just before 11:30 a.m. Thursday. She died at the apartment after being shot three times in the chest, police said.

Three children inside the home at the time were not injured, police said.

Court records show Lee had a criminal history dating back to at least 1999, when he was convicted in Alexandria of attempted rape. 

Lee was charged in Stafford in December 2005 with felony assault and battery on a law enforcement officer, felony hit and run, eluding police and destruction of property. He was convicted in April 2006 on that batch of charges as well as DUI, driving on a suspended license, possession of marijuana and obstruction of justice, court records show.

Lee was sentenced to three years in prison with all but one year suspended. He was also sentenced to "indefinite supervision" and ordered to pay more than $5,000 in fines and costs.

Lee was charged with malicious shooting or throwing at a vehicle and destruction of property in a 2011 incident two days before Christmas, Stafford court records show, but those charges were later dismissed.

After killing Melissa Dee Lee on Thursday, police say, Gregory Lee left the scene in a black Ford Explorer. When a Virginia State Police trooper in a marked patrol car tried to pull Lee over on Interstate 95, he fled, police said.

According to authorities, the Explorer came to a sudden stop at mile marker 138 and Lee began firing a gun at the trooper. A bullet pierced the windshield and lodged into Trooper Z.G. Torrance's seat. The trooper narrowly avoided being struck when he ducked to the side.

Lee then continued on for two miles before slowing and firing again, this time at a Stafford Sheriff's deputy who'd joined the pursuit. Deputy Cody McCormick also escaped injury when a bullet came through his windshield and pierced a headrest, police said.

Lee sideswiped another vehicle before crashing just north of the Courthouse Road interchange, according to police. His SUV ran off the right side of the interstate, struck a guardrail and overturned. 

When authorities pulled the suspect from the vehicle, they discovered he had a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he later died.

No officers fired their weapons during the chase, police said.

The chase and shooting caused a chain-reaction crash involving three more cars on the interstate. Only one person was injured in that crash. Those injuries were considered minor, police said, and the victim was treated at the scene.

The events closed all northbound lanes on I-95 at mile marker 142, which is between the Courthouse Road exit and the Garrisonville Road Exit in Stafford, snarling traffic well into the rush hour. Cars backed up for at least 10 miles in both directions. 

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Kristin Davis: 540/374-5403

kdavis@freelancestar.com

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