UPDATE: Florida child murder suspect taken into custody following Pitt County standoff
PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - A murder suspect out of Florida was arrested following a standoff at a home in Pitt County.
Sheriff Paula Dance tells WITN that Claude Brooks, Jr., was arrested after deputies with the SWAT team went into the home on Buckingham Drive in the Windsor Subdivision.
Deputies cleared the first and second floors of the home before finding Brooks in the attic. We’re told that deputies had to use gas munitions during the standoff.
The sheriff said no one was injured taking Brooks into custody.
Dance said that Brooks was actually on the FBI’s most wanted list and was wanted for child murder in Florida.
Dance said that it’s her understanding that the home is an Airbnb rental.
Ed Diehl has lived in the neighborhood for over 30 years and says he thought the home was vacant until he saw what he described as strange activity.
“Saturday night the driveway was full, which is totally unusual,” Diehl said. “Then a vehicle pulled in and dropped some people off.”
According to the sheriff, deputies got information in the last few weeks that Brooks was in Pitt County.
Dance said that Brooks had been behind bars in Pitt County a few weeks ago but had provided a fake name and bonded out before they learned who he really was.
The sheriff said after that they contacted the U.S. Marshals Service to help relocate Brooks.
According to our NBC affiliate WFLA in Tampa, Brooks has been wanted by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for the 2019 death of a child.
Deputies had been working for more than a year to figure out who was responsible for the child’s death, at first not finding any indication of foul play. After further investigation, detectives determined Brooks was responsible for first degree murder while engaged in aggravated child abuse.
Dance said that Brooks is facing a possession of a firearm by a felon charge and a charge for giving fictitious information to law enforcement.
Diehl says he’s just glad a murder suspect isn’t in their neighborhood anymore.
“People with that mindset will find a way around invading law enforcement, but in the end, law enforcement is going to win,” Diehl said.
WITN spoke with the Airbnb owner and she says Brooks was allegedly a squatter and that someone rented the home for him. She also says she had no prior knowledge of Brooks staying there.
Deputies are working to take into in custody a wanted person they said is barricaded inside a home.
The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office is currently in the Windsor Subdivision on Buckingham Drive.
Public Information Office Sgt. Lee Darnell said that the person is in a home near the cul-de-sac at the end of Buckingham Drive.
Deputies issued a shelter in place order while they work to arrest the person.
The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office is telling people to shelter in place at a subdivision just outside of Greenville.
In a Facebook post Monday afternoon, they asked anyone on Buckingham Drive to “shelter in place” and anyone outside that area to avoid it.
No other details are available at this time. WITN has reached out to a Pitt Co. Sheriff’s Office spokesperson for further details, but we have not heard back.
Copyright 2023 WITN. All rights reserved.