New details released in search for Hampton felon

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — The subject of a police manhunt in Hampton Thursday morning is now in custody.

Hampton Police said officers took Benjamin Tyler Powell into custody without incident around 1 a.m. Friday at the Days Inn on Coliseum Drive near the intersection with Mercury Boulevard. Powell was not injured.

Police negotiators worked at the scene for hours Thursday night into Friday morning and tactical units were on standby.

Cpl. Mary Shackelford with Hampton Police said some of the rooms adjacent to the one Powell was in were evacuated as a precautionary measure as officers tried to get him to come out.

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Updated mugshot of Benjamin Powell, photo courtesy Hampton Police.

“He surrendered peacefully and our officers are going home,” Shackelford told WAVY.com. “Mr. Powell is in good standing as far as I know, he did not sustain any injuries. So it was a good day.”

A family member, who did not want to provide his name, talked to 10 On Your Side’s Erin Kelly at Powell’s home Friday.

“We’re not happy with the portrayal that he was like a cold-blooded killer in the beginning, but at the same time, we’re happy it was a peaceful resolution. Kudos to the Hampton Police Department for how they handled the situation and the U.S. Marshals,” he said. When asked how he would describe Powell, he said, “There’s two sides to him. Hopefully, in surrendering last night he surrendered to the Lord as well,” he said.

The ordeal began Wednesday night when a trooper with the Virginia State Police attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a speeding vehicle. According to a criminal complaint obtained by WAVY.com, the driver refused to stop and led troopers on a pursuit to the Hampton Woods Plaza.

There, the driver stopped and ran away. Hampton officers located the suspect, identified as Powell, in a wooded area near the shopping center. According to the complaint, he pulled out a silver revolver, pointed it at the officers and said “I HAVE GUN [sic] IN HERE [expletive].”

Powell was able to flee the officers and run towards a the Hampton Woods neighborhood. That prompted an extensive manhunt by both the Hampton Police Division and Virginia State Police.

Officers received a tip Thursday night that Powell was in a room at the Days Inn.

Powell has been charged with attempted maiming, brandishing and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He also will be served with the outstanding warrants of felony probation violation and failure to appear on a felony charge.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and it is unknown at this time if there will be additional charges.

Powell has been booked into jail and declined an interview request with WAVY News 10. He was arraigned Friday at 8:15 a.m.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates as they become available.

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