Suspect in custody after 7-hour manhunt

Melvin Rodgers (Photo courtesy Hertford County Sheriff).

HERTFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — Police searched for a man in Murfreesboro for hours Monday morning, causing several school lockdowns before his arrest.

Melvin Eugene Rodgers, 32, was taken into custody around 1:30 p.m. at a residence in Como, N.C., according to Murfreesboro Police Chief Darrell Rowe. He was charged with possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Seven hours earlier, police say Rodgers was in a McDonald’s parking lot along Main Street. He allegedly brandished a firearm during an altercation with another man.

When officers got to the scene, Rodgers ran. He was last seen near the ABC store on East Main Street, which is close to Riverview Elementary School, Hertford County Middle School and Chowan University. And because Rodgers was thought to be armed, all three schools were put on lockdown.

Several jurisdictions joined the manhunt, and an Ahoskie Police Department K-9 Unit eventually tracked Rodgers to the residence where he was arrested. Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan said Rodgers knew the person who lived at the residence.

No one was injured.

Sheriff Vaughan said Rodgers had been wanted in Murfreesboro for over a year on outstanding warrants, including kidnapping.

Rodgers is also wanted in Portsmouth for abduction and assault and battery of a family member, according to Detective Misty Holley with the Portsmouth Police Department. The charges stem from an incident last month during which police say Rodgers assaulted a woman and refused to let her leave.

Rodgers was taken to the Murfreesboro Sheriff’s Office to be processed and then transfered to the custody of the Hertford County Jail.

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