He’s accused of slaughtering a mom during a home invasion in Monroe, North Carolina. Her five children were home during the killing. Now police say they caught him early Friday morning.
The Union County Sheriff’s Office reports that 25-year-old Byron Watkins was captured in Lexington County, South Carolina early Friday morning. He’s now in jail and awaiting extradition to Monroe.
There was a manhunt on Thursday, and Watkins was believed to have been possibly hiding inside a relative’s house on the Lancaster County, South Carolina side of the border.
After reportedly hearing gunshots in the area, police responded to the home.
“A lot of excitement for a very quiet area,” said a neighbor. “And then to have a SWAT team and armored vehicles standing by on the side of the road, and the car being searched and stuff like that is a little unusual.”
The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division sent a robot into the home but found it empty.
Deputies cleared the scene and didn’t believe he was still in the area, but still asked people to be cautious.
“We’re checking every vehicle, checking the trunks and making sure there’s no way that individual can escape that way,” said Pete Havonec, Monroe communications director.
Earlier Thursday, police announced that another man, 19-year-old Antwan David Sturdivant, had been arrested in connection with the deadly home invasion.
“Mr. Sturdivant turned himself in last night and our investigation led us to Mr. Watkins and to this location in Lancaster,” Havonec said. “We believe it was completely random, just an opportunity to break into a home and try to steal money, and unfortunately there was a murder victim. Just tragic and sad and honestly stupid.”
He’s been slapped with charges including first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and assault on a female.
Watkins now faces charges including first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, discharge a firearm in an occupied dwelling, and assault on a child under 12.
The victim was Lucero Sosa Capote. She was shot and killed during an early morning break-in at 1603 Tower Ct on July 12. When she was killed, her five children were in the home. Investigators say two were treated for minor injuries during the altercation.
“I’ll be praying for wisdom for the law enforcement officers that are involved in this, I hope that none of them get injured, and just that the whole situation can be resolved without anyone being hurt,” Jim said
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In the meantime, police in Miami are still looking for two shooting and robbery suspects.
A passerby witnessed two men breaking into a Miami Police officer’s patrol car Wednesday morning.
He put his car in reverse, perhaps to deter the criminals from continuing their efforts of gaining entry into the car. While his presence did put the crooks in flight, it did not end their activities. Surveillance cameras show at least one of the suspects opening fire on the good Samaritan.
That Samaritan turned out to be Jean Modlyn, who lived two doors down from the officer’s home. The confrontation happened at around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday at Northwest 140th Street and Fifth Avenue in North Miami-Dade.
Prior to Modlyn’s intervention, the crooks managed to shatter the window of the car, but there was film that blocked part of their entry into the vehicle. Pulling back the film, they were able to grab a flashlight.
Police said at least 15 shots were fired in the shooting. The gunshots were captured by a nearby surveillance video camera.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the officer’s wife said she and her husband immediately checked their cameras.
“It made me glad that we invested so much money on our security system,” she said. “They knew they were getting videoed, and they still did it. We heard like 15 gunshots, 14 or 15. I couldn’t count. We were just steps away sleeping. That’s the worst part.”
In an interview with a Miami television station, Modlyn pointed out three bullet holes on his car. While it created moderate to his van, he said he is thankful that he was not even grazed by the flying bullets.
“One bullet over there, another one, he tried to kill me,” Modlyn said. “I don’t know, that’s for nothing. I said, ‘Thank you, God, I don’t die.’”
The officer’s wife was grateful for her neighbor’s actions and glad that he is OK.
“I’m grateful that we have people that are always attentive with each other, and he made sure, even though this was not even his house, but he didn’t like what he saw, so you know, we appreciate that,” she said.
The suspects dropped the flashlight while fleeing, and police found it in another neighbor’s yard. Police are still investigating and seeking assistance in apprehending these suspects.
This is just one more incident in a recent rash of crimes aimed at law enforcement. The vehicle that was the target was a patrol car. No evidence was found of any other vehicles in the neighborhood being burglarized. Whether the suspects were looking for something specific that could only be found in a patrol unit, or simply for the purpose of vandalizing a cruiser, the markings on the car had everything to do with why it was targeted.
At least one suspect was armed. Immediately upon being spotted, he opened fire. What if the officer in the residence had come out to investigate noise, or go for a jog, surprising the burglars? This story could have had a much more tragic outcome.
At a time where officers are being targeted, even with something as simple as buckets of water, there is a growing level of disrespect being aimed towards our brothers and sisters in blue.
The dangerous new viral challenge has people dumping buckets fo water on police officers. After several videos went viral,NYPD bosses are flooding with anger after several videos surfaced online of police officers being doused with water by lawless derelicts – and in one case, hit in the head with a bucket while trying to make an arrest.
The videos of cops being doused with water and having objects hurled at them as they made an arrest in #Harlem is reprehensible. NYC’s cops & communities have made remarkable progress — together — but EVERY New Yorker MUST show respect for our cops. They deserve nothing less. pic.twitter.com/mPtPPbUSGZ
— Chief Terence Monahan (@NYPDChiefofDept) July 22, 2019
The city’s biggest police union on Monday said New York politicians and their “anti-police rhetoric” were to blame.
— NYC PBA (@NYCPBA) July 22, 2019
In an article by Thomas Tracy, Rocco Parascandola, and John Annese in the New York Daily News, video was posted showing officers being pelted with water, one having a bucket of water dumped over his head, and another hit by a bucket. These attacks happened in Brooklyn, Harlem, and Manhattan, and left officers angry and humiliated.
In one video, the person taking the footage is shouting and cursing, encouraging the young men who were assaulting officers. The police officers in each video showed incredible restraint and didn’t strike back at their attackers – perhaps that is the trap these people were trying to set.
Regardless of the methodology being deployed, one thing is for certain, there are a contingency of people that have ZERO respect for our law enforcement community.
It is time we do something to discourage that contingency.