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City on Lockdown as Cops Hunt for Murder Suspect

Marine deserter Michael Alexander Brown believed to be armed in Roanoke, Va.
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2019 10:45 AM CST
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US Marine Michael Alexander Brown is shown in this undated image.   (Franklin County (Va.) Sheriff's Office via AP)

(Newser) – Schools are closed across Roanoke, Va., Thursday as police search for a Marine deserter accused of killing his mother's boyfriend. Michael Alexander Brown, a 22-year-old combat engineer who reportedly deserted his post at North Carolina's Camp Lejeune last month, is accused in the fatal Saturday shooting of 54-year-old Rodney Wilfred Brown, who lived with the suspect's mother in Hardy. Michael Brown, who didn't live with the couple but has been seen around Franklin County in the past two weeks, was spotted tapping on windows a few blocks away from a high school around 4am Thursday, police say, per the Roanoke Times. An RV with a North Carolina license plate, known to have been driven by the suspect—described as 6 feet tall, 145 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes—was later found in a church parking lot, but Brown wasn't inside.

A resident describes seeing two armored vehicles surround the RV, seen parked in the lot around 7:30pm the previous evening, before authorities demanded Brown's surrender over a loudspeaker. The woman said the RV was then rammed for 15 minutes, until its side split open. At a 7am press conference, Police Chief Tim Jones said Brown—who has family in the search area—was probably in pursuit of another vehicle on foot. He previously ditched one or two others, per WTVR. "He has been known to live in the woods and frequent national parks and national forests" and "is believed to be armed with a high-powered rifle," authorities say, per WSOC, which describes a $10,000 reward for information leading to his capture. Area residents are asked to stay inside and lock their doors. (Read more manhunt stories.)

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