Local News

Durham Murder Suspect Finally In Custody After Earlier Search Nets Wrong Man

Posted June 11, 2004

— Deshaun Mitchell, the focus of a major search Thursday that involved street closings and school lockdowns, was taken into custody by the Chapel Hill Police Department at approximately 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

Earlier in the day, police searched for a man they thought was Mitchell but who turned out not to be.

During that search, police received information about the possible whereabouts of Mitchell, who was wanted for murder in Durham.

Mitchell was arrested without incident in an apartment at 800 Pritchard Ave. Ext. in Chapel Hill.

Chapel Hill police entered the apartment, did a methodical search and located Mitchell crouched in a corner of an upstairs bedroom. A gun was located in the apartment.

Mitchell was charged with resisting arrest stemming from an encounter Thursday morning in which he ran from officers. He was to be transferred to the Durham Police Department, which has a murder warrant for him.

After Mitchell eluded officers in the morning, another incident occurred about 2 p.m. in which a man matching Mitchell's description led law-enforcement authorities from Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County on a chase for more than three hours. Police mistakenly thought the man was Mitchell and considered him armed and dangerous.

After that man had been apprehended and Chapel Hill High School, Seawell Elementary School and Smith Middle School locked down, police discovered that the man was not the 20-year-old Mitchell but was 28-year-old Donald Riggsbee. Riggsbee had been facing other charges and was charged with resisting arrest Thursday.

Mitchell was taken into custody about four and half hours after Riggsbee, capping a long and busy day for the Chapel Hill police.

Mitchell, a known Durham gang member, is wanted for

the May 6 shooting death of 22-year-old Reginald Johnson.

He was the last of four suspects in the case, all of whom are gang members, to be captured.

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