Police: Murder Suspect Held 2 People at Gunpoint Inside Manassas Home During Manhunt

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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — A man wanted for murder holed up in a Manassas home for several hours Thursday while holding two people at gunpoint, police say.

Earl Mitchell, 20, allegedly snuck through an unlocked door into a home on Mineral Springs Drive and remained there for “several hours” while a massive manhunt ensued in the nearby area.

Police say the two residents were able to escape from the home after several hours and notify authorities. Mitchell was taken into custody a short time later.

The manhunt began after Mitchell fled from Manassas City police during an attempted traffic stop shortly after 1:30 p.m. Police say an officer ran the car’s Pennsylvania licence plates and found it was connected to a murder in Johnstown, Pa.

Police say the car sped away when the officer tried to pull it over and the chase continued into Prince William County, where it crashed onto a sidewalk near the intersection of Prince William Parkway and Tattersall Drive.

Mitchell fled on foot into a residential area, police say, while his passenger remained in the car.

Police from several jurisdictions responded to the area and conducted a seven-hour manhunt for Mitchell. Children were held at nearby schools and police searched vehicles and homes in the area.

Authorities were tipped to Mitchell’s location around 8 p.m. after the two people being held at gunpoint inside the home were able to escape when Mitchell got distracted. They told police they tried to calm Mitchell down for “several hours.”

Police found Mitchell hiding in a basement storage area of the home with a gun. He was arrested without injury.

Mitchell, of Philadelphia, is being held without bond. He’s been charged in Virginia with burglary, two counts of abduction, two counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony, being a fugitive from justice, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a concealed weapon, reckless driving, and felony eluding.

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