It was an intense scene on Hewes Avenue Tuesday morning as police closed in on a man wanted in a Monday night murder in Long Beach.
SWAT team members surrounded a house in the 600 block of East Railroad Street and flushed out James Wilson McDowell, who was wanted on a murder charge in the Monday night killing of Deverick Johnson in Long Beach. He was taken into custody at about 10:30 a.m. No one was injured during the standoff, which lasted more than two hours.
McDowell was arrested on a charge of murder and was transported to Long Beach. He is the third person arrested in connection to the killing.
Michael Anthony Taylor, 29, of Long Beach, and Charity Roxanne McDowell, 29, of Gulfport, were previously arrested and charged with accessory after the fact to murder.
Hewes Avenue was blocked off between East Railroad Street and 24th Street as Gulfport police waited McDowell to exit the home. Gulfport police officers were assisted by deputies with the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office, Gulfport Fire and Rescue, Long Beach police as well as other first responders.
“We got a call around 8 a.m. Tuesday that McDowell was hiding out in the area,” Gulfport police Sgt. Josh Bromen said.
McDowell, 28, was in a small white home with a white picket fence surrounding the back yard. There was a maroon Pontiac convertible parked in the front yard and white Cadillac parked behind the house. Three other people were in the home and the vacated the property at the request of the police. Bromen said they were acquaintances of McDowell’s. He said no additional arrests had been made.
SWAT entered the home around 10:30a.m., using three flash bangs in the process after attempting to talk to McDowell via a bullhorn.
Neighbors gathered near 24th Street as the two-plus hour ordeal continued, many using their cellphones and iPads to shoot live video on Facebook of the standoff. Clifton Walker Sr., who said he has lived on Hewes Avenue for 55 years, took a moment to hold hands with his neighbors and pray after the standoff ended peacefully.
“This could have been a bad situation, but we’re just glad no one was hurt,” Walker said.
Police responded to a shooting on North Lang Avenue, just north of Railroad Street in Long Beach, around 7:40 p.m. Monday and found Johnson dead of an apparent gunshot wound. Police had been searching for McDowell until he was spotted and arrested Tuesday morning in Gulfport.