Man killed after chasing vehicle burglary suspects in Bellevue

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Metro police are investigating after a man was shot and killed while following suspects who were breaking into cars outside his Bellevue home early Monday morning. 

The investigation began around 2 a.m. in the 7800 block of Highway 100. 

The victim was found dead outside a vehicle in a field about 50 yards from the road, according to Metro police. 

Officers on the scene told News 2 there are tracks where the vehicle left the roadway and entered the field. A police officer driving by on patrol reportedly noticed the vehicle in the field. 

Metro police said Erik Helffenstein, 45, was shot to death in his vehicle while chasing after persons who were breaking into cars outside his Meadow Ridge Circle home.

“I’m just devastated, whatever we can do for them, we want to be here for them,” said neighbor David Hout. “But I just can’t imagine, it’s hard to explain it to my daughter this morning.  She heard us talking and it’s just awful.  A really good guy, great sense of humor, awesome individual, good friend” 

The suspects were reportedly in a dark SUV. 

Metro police asked residents in the Traceside subdivision off Highway 100 whose vehicles were tampered with, or anyone with home surveillance video to please call 615-862-8600.  

The roadway was closed in the area near Ensworth while investigators process the scene. It reopened to traffic around 8:15 a.m.

News 2 has confirmed that Erik Helffenstein was a Nissan employee.  The company released this statement Monday morning:

We are saddened to learn of Erik’s passing. Our deepest sympathies are with his family members, friends and colleagues.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.

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