FIRST ON WITN: Suspected Gunman Arrested After Chase Across County Line

By: Carly Swain / Amy Holcombe
By: Carly Swain / Amy Holcombe

A man is facing charges after police said he fired shots and led them on a chase spanning two counties.

Ayden Police Chief Barry Stanley tells WITN an officer was parked near Pete Jones' Barbecue on Lee Street about 12:40 a.m. Tuesday when he heard gunshots down the road.

Chief Stanley said his officer spotted a vehicle racing toward him, then past him. The officer turned on his blue lights and followed in pursuit.

Officers said the chase got up to 90 miles an hour along Old NC 11 as the suspect's vehicle hit a stop sign and kept going.

Once near the Pepsi plant, police said the driver tossed a gun out the window of his vehicle and kept driving until officers stopped him a mile and a half across the Pitt-Lenoir county line.

Chief Stanley said 21-year-old Defonte Williams was arrested on the spot.

Police said they went back to where the officer initially heard shots fired and found bullet casings and holes in a home at 4555 Lee Street. There were no reports of injuries.

Chief Stanley tells WITN the home on Lee Street is the same place that police responded to in October to break up a family dispute. He says a few officers were injured in that October 24th case. To read more on that previous story, click here.

Ayden Police said Williams went before a magistrate in Pitt County around 2 a.m. Tuesday. He is facing a handful of charges including shooting into an occupied dwelling, discharging a firearm within the city limits, and felony fleeing to elude arrest.

Chief Stanley said property damage charges are likely coming.

Stanley added authorities believe gang activity may be a factor in this shooting and chase.

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