Friday, February 28, 1997
Gunmen carried
police gear in van

Bulletproof vest may have saved one

BY TANYA BRICKING
The Cincinnati Enquirer

motor
Police are searching for this 1977 Dodge Executive motor home. It's white with a green stripe.
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Authorities found a cache of bulletproof vests, weapons, ammunition and police paraphernalia in the Chevrolet Suburban fugitives abandoned in Wilmington, Ohio, Feb. 15 after shootouts with police.

A search warrant revealed the vehicle contained hats and jackets bearing FBI logos, two U.S. marshal badges, six guns, more than 4,000 rounds of ammunition and a large amount of military-type gear.

Authorities said Thursday they think one of the gunmen, Cheyne Kehoe, was wearing a third bulletproof vest, which apparently saved his life after trading gunfire with a sheriff's deputy.

The video taken from an Ohio Highway Patrol cruiser's dashboard shows Mr. Kehoe, 20, put ''something over his head'' before jumping out of the passenger side and shooting at a deputy, Clinton County Sheriff Ralph Fizer said.

A state trooper stopped the van for expired Washington state license plates. While he was talking to Mr. Kehoe's brother, Chevie, 24, Cheyne Kehoe had enough time to put on a vest.

Deputy Robert Gates, who came as a backup, fired seven shots and appeared to hit Cheyne Kehoe in the chest with two or three of them, Sheriff Fizer said.

''It appears this bad guy takes two to three hits and he doubles up and points his gun down,'' he said.

Police say Cheyne Kehoe took off on foot as his brother drove away. A second shootout occurred about one-half mile later when authorities say Chevie Kehoe fired at a Wilmington officer and instead hit a passing motorist in the shoulder before escaping.

The shootouts have made the brothers, part of a white-separatist group called the Aryan Nations, the focus of a nationwide manhunt. They face a 16-count indictment in Clinton County, as well as federal charges.

They were the lead story Saturday on Fox TV's call-in crime show America's Most Wanted. The broadcast generated about 115 tips, said Kathy Swanda, the show's spokeswoman.

The inventory of what the van contained also includes a map of a campground in nearby Frankfort in Ross County where they had been staying with their wives - Tanna Kehoe and Karena Gumm - and their four children in a motor home.

''We don't know where they are,'' Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesman John Born said Thursday. ''But some of our leads are very strong.''

From about May 1996 until December, officials say the Kehoe brothers, their wives, children and parents lived in a cabin in a northwestern Montana area called Yaak - a place so remote that it has no telephones and no electricity without a generator.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Previous stories

CHEVIE KEHOE INDICTED ON FEDERAL CHARGES Feb. 26, 1997
CALLS GIVE TIPS ON FUGITIVES Feb. 25, 1997
WILMINGTON SHOOTOUT NOW FBI CONCERN Feb. 22, 1997
BROTHERS INDICTED, SOUGHT IN SHOOTOUTS Feb. 21, 1997
TWO GUNMEN TRACKED TO CAMPGROUND Feb. 20, 1997
INVESTIGATORS, SUPREMACISTS APPEAL TO PUBLIC Feb. 19, 1997
FBI JOINS HUNT FOR GUNMEN Feb. 18, 1997
SHOOTOUT MAY BE LINKED TO KILLINGS Feb. 17, 1997

Manhunt continues

Kehoe
Chevie O'Brien Kehoe, 24 (above), and his brother Cheyne Christopher Kehoe, 20, are wanted on federal charges. They are described as ''armed and extremely dangerous.''

They're are believed to be traveling with their wives and four children in a motor home. Police asked that anyone with information about the Kehoes or the case call (800) 525-5555 or (614) 466-2660.


Gumm
Karena Gumm, Chevie's wife. The mobile home is registered to her.


T.
Tanna Kehoe, Cheyne's wife.


Settle
Police also want to question Jacob Myron Settle, 39, a white supremacist associate of Chevie Kehoe.


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Entire contents Copyright (c) 1997 by The Cincinnati Enquirer, a Gannett Co. Inc. newspaper.