msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 2/11/2011 7:02:04 PM ET 2011-02-12T00:02:04

Authorities say a man suspected of beating and mutilating a New York car seller and stuffing him in the trunk of his BMW has been killed in a shootout with U.S. marshals and local police in north Florida.

A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that Barion Blake opened fire on the marshals Friday after they tracked him to Jacksonville.

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NBC station WTLV of Jacksonville said Blake leapt from a second-floor apartment balcony with a gun at the Colonnade apartments on Monument Road.

A St. Johns County deputy, a Jacksonville officer and the suspect all fired their guns, said Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Director John Hartley. It's not clear who fired first or how many shots were fired, but only the suspect was hit, he said.

Blake was pronounced dead at the scene.

He had been on the run since he got into a fender-bender in Manhattan on Jan. 26.

Police responding to the accident noticed the BMW's interior was bloody and found Akeem Ajimotokan in the trunk. Police said he'd been stabbed in the head and body, and his ear was partially sliced off. His hands were tied.

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The 33-year-old Nigerian immigrant from West New York, N.J., had been held there overnight, police said. Ajimotokan had advertised the fully loaded 2008 BMW M3 on Cars.com for $46,000.

Blake pretended to be a prospective buyer, police said. He crashed the BMW into a taxi in Inwood, near his Dyckman Houses apartment, and fled, police said.

Blake has done time for at least two prior BMW heists, the New York Post reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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