UPDATE: Standoff suspect identified; police catch second suspect
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Police have two men in custody after a traffic stop led to a standoff today and the lockdown of four schools for hours in Wilmington.
Police say they arrested Jermaine Junior Cordova after the standoff. Tonight, they arrested a passenger in Cordova’s car. Christopher Dashawn Williams was wanted on a warrant for two counts of conspiracy to commit murder in connection with an incident on Frog Pond Place Jan. 2.
Police say they encountered the duo around 10 a.m. during a traffic stop on Price’s Lane. They say Cordova, who was driving, initially was cooperative, but his passenger jumped and ran. Cordova then broke away from the officer who had approached him and ran to Barclay Hills Drive, where he hid in a shed, which started the standoff.
After hours of negotiation and extensive measures, including tear gas, police finally arrested Cordova. Early Tuesday evening, police said Cordova was being treated at the hospital for a leg injury. They say he did not know the owners of the property where he hid. Police have not yet said what charges he may face.
Daryl Keith lives across the street from the home where the standoff took place. He saw the suspect wheeled off on a stretcher.
“There’s a lot of national media speculation on how things should and shouldn’t be handled,” Keith said. “One person waving around a gun in a neighborhood that’s full of families and kids, two hours, three hours is a long time to be trying to talk someone down.”
Meanwhile, four schools on Princess Place Drive were locked down to ensure the safety of the students. Parents were concerned but say they are pleased with the way the situation was handled.
“With all the shootings that are going on, parents are sending their kids to school, and they’re getting worried,” Alicia Pringle said. “We don’t want to worry when our kids go to school. We want to know that they’re going to school and they’re in a safe environment and we can go to work or do whatever we need to do without worrying about our kids.”
The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office says situations like this are exactly why new precautions were put into place in county schools.
“With everything that’s gone on in the past couple of months that officers have to deal with, teachers and students have to deal with it as well,” Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer said. “That can be difficult and stressful at times, and that is why the sheriff has implemented these additional measures and put deputies in the school to help alleviate some of that stress.”
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