NEW INFO: Police Search For Carjacker Called Off

Washington police say the search for an armed carjacker has been called off.

A woman leaving a salon Tuesday night was carjacked, but managed to escape several minutes later.

Police say they are confident the gunman has left the immediate area, and say they are following up on some leads and still have heightened patrols in that area. They are still urging residents to take extra precautions.


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Smart thinking from a carjacking victim helped the woman's husband in tracking them down Tuesday night.

Washington police say the search for that gunman continues Wednesday, though they don't believe the man is still in the area.

Officials say they are looking for a black man with dreadlocks, standing about 6 feet tall and weighing about 200 pounds.

Lt. William Chrismon says 25 officers worked through the night patrolling the Slatestone community of Washington and nearby areas, after a carjacking that began off John Small Avenue at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Chrismon says the police response to the initial crime was so fast that an officer actually saw the gunman run off into the woods. He engaged in a brief foot chase but did not catch him.

The husband of the victim told WITN News that his wife was the last to leave Andrea's Salon & Spa and she felt the gunman was waiting on her. He said once the gunman got into the car, his wife hit her cell phone, calling the husband. He heard the conversation going on in the car and then began following directions he overheard.

He says he found the vehicle near Ridgewood Manor, with his wife already having run into the nursing home before the shooting started. The husband says the gunman fired at him, he ducked and then the gunman then ran into the woods.

Lawmen used several different tactics to try to find the gunman overnight, including K-9 and thermal imaging devices. Police say all on and off-duty personnel who were available were called to the search, which turned up no suspects.

At first light Wednesday, Lt. Chrismon says lawmen started searching the woods once again on foot. At this point, officials are looking for any piece of evidence the gunman may have left behind. They are using four-wheelers to canvass the woods so they can cover more ground faster.

"We've done everything we can do so far to ensure everyone's safety," says Lt. Chrismon. He says people should feel safe to go about their daily business, but notes people should lock their doors to their vehicles and homes as normal. Lt. Chrismon says there are several law enforcement officers still in the area, and no one should hesitate to call them if they see something unusual.

So far, police have not been able to identify the suspect they are looking for. Lt. Chrismon says detectives looked through some mug shots on file with the woman who was carjacked, but no identification was made.

Washington High School in Beaufort County was on a two-hour delay Wednesday. Students in Beaufort County don't have school Wednesday. The delay was aimed at Washington High School staff.

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Washington Police say a woman was in the Food Lion parking lot off of
John Small Avenue when a gunman forced her to get into her SUV and drive.

The woman told police she put her cell phone on speakerphone, called her husband and repeated out loud where she was going.

The suspect noticed the rear dome light of the woman's car was on.

He told the woman to pull into a driveway off of Highland Drive to turn it off.

When the woman said she couldn't turn it off, the suspect jumped into the driver's seat put the SUV into reverse and backed into a ditch where the tailpipe filled with grass and couldn't go any further.

At that time, the woman's husband showed up to the scene.

The gunman got out of the woman's SUV, fired two shots at her husband and then took off into the woods.

The search for the suspect continues. Washington Police continued to patrol the area overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning. Nearby nursing home Ridgewood Manor is still on lockdown.

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A carjacking suspect is on the loose in Beaufort County, forcing a Washington neighborhood into lockdown and closing parts of roadways.

Witnesses say shots were fired during the carjacking, which occurred near Ridgewood Manor Nursing Home at the intersection of Highland Drive and Keysville Avenue. Parts of those roads were closed as of 8:30 p.m.

WITN Reporter Dave Marcheskie says first responders told him the suspect attempted to carjack a driver on Highland Drive shortly before 7:00 p.m.

They told him the person fired a few shots, but that no one was injured.

That suspect then took off around the area right in front of the nursing home.

The nursing home is currently on lockdown. Police are combing the area searching for the suspect.

This happened not far from Washington High School, where a soccer game was underway. Sheriff's vehicles were seen driving down the road around the practice field, which is nearer to Highland Drive.

As of 8:00 p.m., we're told officials went to the field to notify people at the school about the incident. Police dogs were also on the scene.

Lawmen say the person they are searching for has a handgun, but they aren't sure what kind.

Stay with witn.com for more on this developing story.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by A woman ready to defend herself on Nov 2, 2009 at 11:01 PM
    I recently just moved to Washington a couple of months ago. And out of all the areas... I've seem to have picked a bad place. Having my car broken into the 2nd week of being here, and now the carjackings and crimes happening so close to here... Just started carrying pepper spray and I have my faithful aluminum bat in the backseat of my car. And I still don't feel like that's enough...What else can I do? I'm scared now...
  • by SARS Location: Pitt County on Nov 2, 2009 at 08:00 AM
    The police called off the SEARCH not the investigation! Do you really think the carjacker is still in the woods?! Think people. If the cops were still combing the woods, you would be talking about all the other crimes that were being committed while the cops were still in the woods.
  • by Painter Location: Slatestone Road on Nov 1, 2009 at 05:12 PM
    The 2nd Amendment is the citizen's permit to carry a concealed weapon...Period!!! Ladies...stay alert and stay alive. Learn how to shoot to kill and keep your weapon ready when you find yourself in a potentially vulnerable situation such as walking alone at night...remember, a dead thug cannot return for revenge. We're at war with these predators and if one of them targets my wife, daughter or me his mother's gonna have a bad day.
  • by Pete Location: Washington, NC on Nov 1, 2009 at 04:52 PM
    Men, arm your wives and daughters and teach them how to shoot to kill if confronted by a predator. Ladies, be aware of who's around you when approaching your vehicle. Look around it and under it from a distance. Keep a weapon (a good choice is a hammer-less S&W Model 642 .38 Special with laser grips)instantly accessible and don't hesitate to use it if needed. DON'T BE A VICTIM!!!
  • by to Doug on Nov 1, 2009 at 03:48 PM
    Well Doug, I'm glad you take up so nicely for the police. And here's a thing for you. When something bad happens, I don't always call the police. Because I know they can't do anything about anything. My car was recently broken into a couple of months ago. I saw perfect fingerprints on the trunk but the officer refused to take the fingerprint sample saying that it could be anybody's! But I bet if it was a murder, fingerprints would have been taken all over the place. If somebody tries to break into my house, I'm defiantly not calling the police. I'm going to shoot first and then ask questions later. If somebody tried to rape me, you best believe I will kick their *** first THEN call the cops just to have a report. I don't need the police. They aren't doing me any good.
  • by TO DOUG on Oct 31, 2009 at 02:33 PM
    SINCE YOU TYPED IN ALL CAPS. I WOULD NOT CALL THE POLICE IF SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS TO ME. I SEE THEY DID NOTHING FOR THESE PEOPLE AND THEY WERE THERE IN MINUTES AFTER THE INITIAL CALL. AND THE WIFE SAW THE MAN SO SHE CAN GIVE A SKETCH. AND ANYWAY SHE SHOULD HAVE NOT BEEN THE LAST ONE OUT OF THE SALON. SHE SHOULD HAVE LEFT WITH THE OTHER PEOPLE. AND WHY DID SHE SAY SHE KNEW THE CARJACKER WAS WAITING FOR HER. AND WHY DID SHE NOT STAY IN THE SALON INSTEAD OF WALKING TO HER CAR. AND WHY DID SHE NOT CALL THE POLICE IN THE SALON. SHE HAD TO SEE HIM. PLEASE GO SOMEWHERE AND CHILL DOUG. AND THE GUY WHO CARJACK THE ELDERLY LADY WAS DIFFERENT FROM THE ONE THAT CARJACK THIS LADY. DREADLOCKS VS. DOO-RAH TOTALLY DIFFERENT.
  • by doug Location: gville on Oct 31, 2009 at 12:59 PM
    TO ALL YOU PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BLAME THE POLICE FOR NOT CATCHING THE GUY. THIS IS REAL LIFE NOT CSI! THEY MAY NOT HAVE A DETAILED DESCIPTION TO WHERE A SKETCH IS POSSIBLE. JUST BECAUSE THE OFFICER SAW THE GUY DOESNT MEAN HE WAS IN ARMS REACH! I SEE AIRPLANES IN THE SKY DAILY BUT I CANT CATCH THEM. IT WAS DARK THAT NIGHT, NO MOON, NO STARS, NO NOTHING, HOW MANY OF YOU PEOPLE WOULD JUST RUN IN THE WOODS WITH A FLASHLIGHT ON, SO THE BAD GUY KNOWS EXACTLY WHERE YOU ARE, AND YOU HAVE NO CLUE WHERE HE IS? THATS JUST LIKE PAINTING A TARGET ON YOUR HEAD. YOU GUYS ARE SO QUICK TO DOWN THE POLICE BUT WHEN SOMTHING BAD HAPPENS WHO DO YOU CALL, THE POLICE. MOST OF YOU PEOPLE HAVE PROBALY NEVER BEEN IN THE WOODS AT NIGHT SO THEREFORE YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW EASY IT WOULD HAVE BEEN FOR THE BAD GUY TO DISAPPEAR! AND RACHEL THAT EXACTLY WHAT THE POLICE NEEDED WAS THE LOCALS RUNNING AROUND IN THE WOODS, COME ON PEOPLE WHERE IS YOUR COMMON SENSE. GRT YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE YOU START DOWNING THE POLICE!!!
  • by that's what happens. on Oct 31, 2009 at 12:48 PM
    Police called off the search and look what happened, an elderly lady in Plymouth was carjacked. Luckily she made it away safely, but what if she didnt?? That would have been another load on the PD's shoulder's huh? So please get a police composite drawn of this man! Put him on the website/news/papers. He need to be caught. Although he's probably at the otherside of the state by now since he has a car to drive around.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 30, 2009 at 01:19 PM
    What I don't understand is why haven't the wife given a sketch of the guy so people can be aware. It does not matter if he is out of that area he could be in another area carjacking someone else. Now it is strange that they are calling off the search. If it was me I would plaster his face all over the tv and make sure they find him. Like I said before this story does not seem right and I do not care who disagrees.
  • by to Tod on Oct 30, 2009 at 01:01 PM
    No I cannot catch everyone, but I am not a police man. I did not go to basic training to be one. Give up people where is the guy huh? He must be a track star if he got away on feet and no one can find him or know how he looks. If that is true I applaud him he is an awesome magician.
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