BREAKING NEWS: Armed gunman arrested after fleeing police - SKS Rifle recovered loaded with 30 rounds

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Franklin County Investigator speaks with the suspect, identified as 24-year-old Derrick Howard Jr. from Union, Mo.  Photo by Kyle Quick.

Washington, Mo. - Despite conflicting stories referencing Tuesday’s incident in the area of Pottery Road and Highway 100 Sheriff Gary Toelke has now released additional information, adding to what we initially reported.

Sheriff Toelke said, “The camouflage that the deputy said the suspect was wearing was located along with a SKS Rifle by deputies who began searching the area after placing the suspect into custody.  The suspect has been identified as 24-year-old Derrick Howard Jr. from Union, Mo.”

Toelke also said the gun was recovered hidden in a tree in the area where the subject had fled.  Toelke also said, “The weapon was loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition.  Howard also had active warrants for traffic violations.”

Toelke said, “I would like to thank Washington Police, Missouri State Highway Patrol, and citizens in the area for a great cooperative effort.”

What we reported at 3 p.m.
A collaborative effort on the part of Franklin County Police, Washington Police, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol safely led to the arrest of an armed, white male, subject.

Early Tuesday afternoon, Washington West Elementary School and nearby churches in Washington, Mo. were placed on lock down after an armed man fled on foot from police.

Tuesday’s incident began after a Franklin County narcotics officer noticed a vehicle driving recklessly on Highway A, which led to a pursuit after the deputy tried to make a traffic stop.

The pursuit ended when the driver jumped from the vehicle on Diener Road (a dead end road off of Pottery Road).  The deputy chased after him until reaching a wooded area.

Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke told Quick News, “The deputy said the subject had a long gun with him of some type with a banana clip. We then called Washington Police and Highway Patrol and had an excellent response from them.”

Washington Police Officer and Franklin County Deputy stationed along Highway 100 just west of Pottery Road.

According to Toelke, they were able to get the area surrounded with Washington officers stationed with assault rifles along Highway 100 from Highway A to Washington West Elementary.  A helicopter was also brought in to assist in locating the subject.

Toelke said, “There was a neighbor who saw the individual cross Holtgrewe Road.  We had a deputy in the area respond to the residence where the subject was spotted.  The deputy located him hunkered down behind the house near a carport and he was taken into custody without incident.”

Washington Police Chief Ken Hahn told Quick News, “Fortunately, the area was on the edge of our city limits and we had several officers respond probably within a minute or so.  I assigned them to areas around the scene, helping to further surround the area.  This allowed deputies and State to do their job which led to the subject’s arrest.”

“I also had three officers respond to Washington West Elementary for the safety of the students with the scene being so close to the school.”

Washington officer at one of the two entrances to West Elementary.

When the subject was taken into custody he told officers he was caring a “stick” and not a gun.   Toelke did add, “The subject was wearing camo at the time he bailed from the vehicle.”

“When he was placed into custody, he had already taken off the camouflage and left the gun, or “stick” as he said, somewhere in the wooded area.  We currently have K-9 dogs and deputies searching for those items.”

Toelke said, “We are not sure why he was running or where he was from.  The license on the vehicle is believed to be from Leasburg, Mo.”

Officials have not released any additional information, as their investigation is ongoing.

Pictured is the residence where the suspect was located on Holtgrewe Road.