UPDATE — 1/22/18 @ 1:31 PM CDT:
According to Whitwell’s Police Chief, the suspects involved in Monday morning’s incident were also involved in what he describes as a “criminal act” in South Pittsburg early Monday morning before a car chase and subsequent crash led to the suspects taking off on foot — one who has since been taken into custody while another is still on the loose.
The chief says a call came in around 3:00 AM this morning that a car was lingering around a funeral home, the suspects fled when police arrived to check things out.
One suspect was later caught and taken into custody while another remains on the run. Whitwell’s Police Chief has also confirmed that the suspect still on the loose is no longer armed, but should still be considered dangerous.
Whitwell schools will remain on lockdown for the remainder of the day as a precaution and for the safety of their students. Whitwell Elementary Principal David Smith says dismissal times and procedures will remain the same; however, the pickup process might be a bit slower due to their safety procedures for dismissal in such situations. He says the school will have extra personnel on hand to help with the process.
The same will also be likely for Whitwell Middle and High Schools, so the schools ask that parents please be patient and understanding as safety is the priority for dismissal.
Stay with MarionCountyMessenger.com for the latest updates…
Details are limited at this time, but MarionCountyMessenger.com has learned that deputies with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, Whitwell Police, and possibly other local agencies are searching an area near Whitwell Memorial Funeral Home on Highway 28 this morning for suspects on the loose following a car chase that ended with a crash near Porter McCurry Road in Whitwell with two potentially armed suspects escaping on foot.
According to Kenneth Seagraves with the Whitwell Police Department, the two men are the pair wanted in Rutherford County near Smyrna, Tenn. following an armed market robbery there last Friday. We’ve been able to confirm that one of the suspects was taken into custody in Whitwell over the weekend, but it’s not clear yet which one.
Authorities in Rutherford County confirmed yesterday that they had identified the suspects as 42-year-old Dewayne Halfacre and 52-year-old Timothy “Timbo” Howell. Officials said the two have been seen in Nashville, Clarksville, Lynchburg, and Rutherford County, and are now believed to be the pair on the loose here.
Nearby schools — Whitwell Elementary, Whitwell Middle, and Whitwell High School were placed on a full lockdown as a precaution while the police activity is underway in the area.
Reports from Rutherford County stated the suspects allegedly had two semi-automatic handguns when they robbed two clerks at the store there. The clerks were able to come away from the incident with no injuries and the suspects fled the scene.
Authorities advise those in the Whitwell and local area to use extreme caution and do not approach the suspect as they could be armed and are considered dangerous. If you see them, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Stay with MarionCountyMessenger.com for the latest on this developing situation.