Suspects in custody after Lenoir County manhunt - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Suspects in custody after Lenoir County manhunt

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Several men are in custody after a manhunt in Lenoir County Thursday.

Lenoir County Sheriff Chris Hill said it all started when a witness saw a gun being fired out of a van into a field near Banks School Road close to the railroad tracks. The van and its occupants then took off down U.S. 258. 

Deputies caught up with the van near Crestview and chased it until the van driver attempted to turn right onto Eastwood Drive before losing control and striking a ditch bank in a yard on Eastwood and Banks School Road.  The driver then drove the van back onto Eastwood Drive before abruptly stopping in a driveway at which point the occupants of the van fled the area toward ABC123 Academy located on Hill Farm Road. 

Witnesses spotted one of the fleeing men with a handgun, which was later discovered by officers near the child care facility.  It was found with one round in the chamber.

Deputies set up a perimeter along with the Kinston Department of Public Safety, NC Highway Patrol, and Lenoir County Emergency Management.  Aerial support was also provided by the Highway Patrol. 

About 30 minutes later, three men were taken into custody near Memory Lane. That's about 1/4 mile from the scene.  They took a fourth suspect in custody two hours later.

Sheriff Chris Hill made the following comment about the incident, "Although three people are charged in this incident, we still think they may be connected with some other incident prior to their initial discovery on Banks School Road.  The quick actions of the motorist and the fact that we had people very near the caller made it a bad day for the suspects in the van.  I am so very grateful that we found one of the firearms near the daycare facility.  We all know what the potential outcome could have been if a child had found that firearm.  The daycare facility implemented their lock-down procedure as soon as they learned of the event.  There exists the possibility that there is another firearm is out there and I would advise anyone coming across it to not pick it up and to contact the 911 center."

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