KENANSVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The manhunt for the suspect in the Walmart standoff that happened early Wednesday, who escaped the hospital Thursday evening where he was receiving treatment, has ended with his capture.
Jerry Arnold Flakes Jr., 30, was captured Friday afternoon, WNCT’s Claire Curry confirmed with Duplin County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Scott Kennedy. A press release from the sheriff’s office said he was captured in front of ECU Health Duplin Hospital in Kenansville, where he escaped custody.
Authorities were notified on Friday around 3:30 p.m. by a citizen that he saw a man matching the description of Flakes under the porch of his house at the end of Bowden Drive in Kenansville. While law enforcement was searching the home and surrounding area, Flakes reportedly broke into a nearby home.
Law enforcement heard a lady screaming and authorities saw Flakes running across several yards behind the Duplin County Courthouse before he was captured. Nobody was injured.
Flakes is now in the custody of the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office and was scheduled to be transported to Central Prison. Flakes was being held under a $2 million bond.
Flakes was being held at ECU Health Duplin Hospital in Kenansville on Thursday when he escaped custody. Kennedy said they received a call around 5:30 p.m. Thursday that Flakes had escaped after he was under watch by police from ECU Health Duplin Hospital.
Raw interview with Duplin County Sheriff Stratton Stokes (Claire Curry, WNCT video)
Duplin County Sheriff Stratton Stokes said Flakes requested new scrubs from staff at the hospital, exited the main entrance to the hospital and disappeared into the woods.
ECU Health released a statement on the incident on Friday.
“ECU Health Duplin Hospital treated Jerry Flakes, Jr. after he was transported by EMS and accompanied by Wallace Police Department at 7:26 a.m. Wednesday, May 3. Although Flakes, Jr. was never in ECU Health Police custody, ECU Health assigned a hospital sitter to monitor Flakes, Jr. for his safety and the safety of others, and ECU Health Police were aware of his presence in the hospital. Flakes, Jr. fled the hospital at 5:26 p.m. Thursday, May 4. ECU Health Police are assisting the law enforcement team on site in the search of Flakes, Jr.”
Officials from the sheriff’s office were joined by members of the Pender County Sheriff’s Office, Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, Wallace Police Department, Kenansville Police Department, ECU Health Duplin Hospital police, the NC State Highway Patrol and the NC State Bureau of Investigation.
Flakes was facing charges related to a four-hour standoff that happened at the Walmart in Wallace. He tried to steal a delivery truck and later ended up surrounded by law enforcement. Negotiations took place as Flakes held a rifle to his head, threatening to kill himself.
Officials said when he turned the gun on law enforcement, shots were fired and Flakes was injured. He was then taken to ECU Health Duplin Hospital.
Flakes had not officially been charged since he was under mental evaluation and had not been released from the hospital.