CRIME

Earl Patrick Mitchell in custody after hours-long manhunt

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MANASSAS, Va. (WJLA) - After an hours-long manhunt, a violent felon is in custody. 

Photo: Prince William County Police

More than a hundred police officers from multiple agencies spread out over the Lake Jackson area, went door-to-door, and even checked shrubbery in a methodical hunt for the suspect.

"It's definitely a scare for everybody...we've actually been looking out the doors to make sure nobody's around," said Manassas resident David Runkle.

They were looking for 20-year-old Earl Mitchell, who is wanted by Pennsylvania Police for murder.

After officers tried to make a traffic stop at about 1:30 p.m. in the afternoon at this location here in Virginia, Mitchell took off running.

"Manassas City had officers here pretty quickly, and the County had officers here quickly -- so we were able to lock down the area pretty tightly," said Officer Jonathan Perok with Prince William County Police.

Officers cordoned off the streets and set up roadblocks, while the search kept some residents out of their homes for hours.

"There was a policeman in like a bullet proof vest. He was carrying a big gun...it really is surreal," said resident Andrea McMillan.

As a precaution, Bennett Elementary School went into “Secure Status” mode, and students were kept inside late into the evening. Parents lined up to show their ID’s to take their children home.

"They've implemented locked and secured doors all day long -- that makes everyone feel safer," said parent Mari Raimondi. "It's sad that it has come to that in this day and age, but it's better."

Mitchell is finally in custody, but officials have not yet disclosed exactly where he was found.

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