The couple drove off in Hardwick’s vehicle as police executed a search for Kassa.
“As officers approached the crash scene, there was an exchange of gunfire between the officers and the suspect,” Dearborn police said, adding that autopsy results indicated Hardwick died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to CBS News.
Investigators are still interviewing witnesses, including a 34-year-old woman who was injured while sitting in the passenger seat of the Dodge. It is unclear why Kassa was killed, although reports show that domestic violence was present between Kassa and Hardwick, including an incident when cops responded to a call of a domestic dispute between the pair.
Hardwick told police she pushed Kassa and hit her in the face after she found a text on her girlfriend’s phone from another woman, Fox 2 Detroit reported.
“Heartbroken, sad — and it’s so hard to watch and see anyone lose their life, but especially in a domestic violence situation,” Ericka Downing of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center in Murfreesboro told WTVF. “We’re praying for the family. I’m praying for their peace as they walk through this tragic loss.”
She added that she hopes Kassa’s passing “brings a spotlight and awareness to the fact that domestic violence does exist,” and that there are “agencies across the state of Tennessee that are here to help.”