Starkweather and Fugate drove all night, crossing into Wyoming on 29 January 1958. Realising that the luxurious car they were driving would raise suspicion, they pulled over when they spotted a Buick parked on the shoulder of the road, whose inhabitant, shoe salesman Merle Collison, was sleeping inside. When Collison refused to swap cars Starkweather shot him multiple times at close range. Starkweather and Fugate made to leave in the car, with Collison dead in the passenger seat, but he didn’t know how to release the handbrake in the Buick. When another passer-by stopped to assist them, Starkweather pulled out his gun and threatened to kill him, if he didn’t show him how to release the brake. A struggle ensued and, when a deputy sheriff stopped to investigate, Fugate ran over to him and yelled that Charlie Starkweather was in the vehicle, and that he had just killed somebody.
Starkweather jumped back in the Packard and drove off at break-neck speed, followed by the deputy sheriff who had radioed for help to set up roadblocks. A high-speed car chase followed and, when Starkweather’s back window was shot out by police gunfire, he brought the vehicle to an abrupt halt and surrendered: a shard of glass had nicked his ear, and he had thought he had been mortally wounded.