Friday May 7, 2021 Breaking News
Update 6:40 pm: Sheriff Asa Buck confirmed that Mr. Murphrey killed himself with an AK-47 rifle and that negotiators were on the phone with him until right before he shot himself. Deputies found a stash of other weapons and a large amount of ammunition for the AK-47.
Update 4:00 pm: Suspect was pronounced dead at Carteret Health Care of a single gunshot wound. Highway 24 is open to traffic.
Update 3:07 pm: Sheriffs office is now reporting that Richard Murphrey exited the vehicle during the standoff and shot himself with a gun and was transported to Carteret Health Care in serious condition.
2:50 pm update and clarification: In earlier reporting, we stated that schools in Morehead City and Newport were on lockdown, but it now appears only schools in Beaufort and ones in down east communities were on lockdown as the search for Richard Murphrey began down east which prompted school officials to close schools around 8:40 am. As of 2:50 pm there is still no word if the subject has been arrested and there is no information on the jail website about him being admitted. We do know that Morehead City and Newport buses were diverted as this incident was unfolding.
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The Carteret County Sheriffs Department issued a public advisory outlining where they shut down all 5 lanes of traffic on Highway 24 near Paradise Lane where deputies stopped a vehicle being driven by a subject allegedly wanted for numerous felony warrants including habitual felon, carrying a concealed weapon, and numerous drug charges.
Due to the closure of Highway 24, the Sheriff noted heavy traffic on Highway 70 after deputies diverted traffic. In addition, Friday was an early release day for students at the Carteret County Schools and buses had to be diverted around this incident and for the safety of students and staff. It should be noted that several schools in Beaufort and down east were on lockdown simply out of an abundance of caution while this incident unfolded.
As of 1:37 pm, traffic in Morehead City and Newport was still heavy and we are working to find out if negotiators were able to get the suspect to leave his car and carried out an arrest, or if the subject is still in his car.
The sheriff noted that the wanted subject’s name is Richard Murphrey and we will keep checking the jail website to see if Mr. Murphrey is admitted in to the detention center.