A man who was held hostage Tuesday morning says he watched as police searched during a 12-hour manhunt but couldn’t call out for help.
The accused gunman, Sharif Thompson, broke into Robert Stevenson’s home and woke him up, Channel 2 Action News reported.
“Woke me up in my sleep with a pistol in my face,” Stevenson told Channel 2.
It all started when an officer stopped a suspicious red car about 1:30 a.m. at Hairston Park at the intersection of South Hairston Road and Mainstreet Park Drive, which is near Stone Mountain, DeKalb police Lt. Lonzy Robertson said. Thompson was inside the car with a woman.
Police got Thompson’s identification and learned there was a warrant for his arrest in New York, police said.
The officer ran to catch up to the car and that’s when “the suspect got out of the vehicle and began firing on the officer,” Robertson said.
The officer returned fire and Thompson ran, Robertson said.
Officers later discovered Thompson broke into Stevenson’s home, where he stayed overnight, Robertson said.
After Thompson allegedly busted down the back door, Stevenson said he was scared but had enough presence of mind to stay calm and hope for a peaceful resolution.
Stevenson told Channel 2 that Thompson was afraid he’d shot a police officer, saying, “I'm not here to hurt you; I mean you no harm. I’ve got to hide somewhere for right now.”
Thompson hid for about eight hours before allegedly stealing the homeowner’s car to get away.
“He was sitting looking at them through my window,” Stevenson said. “They were right in front of my window; you could see police out here ... we could hear them talking.”
U.S. Marshals captured Thompson just after 11:30 a.m. at the Haven Hotel Extended Stay on Memorial Drive, Robertson said.
“(Thompson) decided to take my car; he even told me he would text my friend on my phone and tell where he could pick my car up,” Stevenson told Channel 2.
Marshals surrounded the hotel and eventually arrested Thompson on a charge of aggravated assault on a police officer, Robertson said.
It is unclear if Thompson was injured in the incident, but an ambulance was called to the scene, Robertson said.
The woman in the car with Thompson was detained. Her name and details about the New York charges against Thompson were not released.
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