Live blog: Manhunt continues for inmate who stabbed deputy, escaped custody

We’re at the scene and will update often until the fugitive is caught.

10 p.m.

The suspect has been caught near Mt. Elliot and I-94, in the area of the Packard Plant. Read more by click here.

7:11 p.m.

Police believe suspect Abraham Pearson may be a few blocks west of Woodward at Lawrence Street. Police are rushing to set up a perimeter. He escaped from a downtown courthouse more than 11 hours ago.

Police also continue to focus on the lower east side at Lafayette and Chene, where witnesses said they saw Pearson furiously running earlier today.

6:29 p.m.

As the sun set over the lower east side, police continued to scour the lower east side for any signs of the fugitive, who escaped more than 10 hours ago. Police descended on an area occupied by tall apartment buildings, public housing units and schools.

4:04 pm
The scene outside MLK senior high school was surreal. As students in black-and-white uniforms left school, police with automatic weapons perused the area for the still at-large fugitive. Drums thundered from the school yard where a marching band was practicing.

Helicopters circled above, while more than 30 squad cars were positioned outside of the school.

1:56 p.m.
The intense manhunt for an inmate who repeatedly stabbed a sheriff’s deputy in the neck at a downtown county courthouse has narrowed in on an area near a high school, two historic cemeteries and a maze of large apartment complexes on the city’s lower east side.

A 25-year-old man delivering flyers on Chene just north of Lafayette told authorities he saw the fugitive run north wearing a white T-shirt.

“He was booking it,” the witness told me after talking to a Homeland Security officer. “Next thing I know, there’s police everywhere.”

Derreck White
A line of police cars perused the windy, narrow roads inside the Elmwood Cemetery, an ornate, historic resting place for Civil War veterans, firefighters, former governors, senators and mayors and other historic figures. Nearby, an armored truck full of police in black helmets and automatic weapons was ready to pounce. Squad cars lined the streets, where Martin Luther King Jr. High School and a maze of large apartment complexes complicated the search.

In an adjacent grassy area, a woman was found dead earlier this summer.

The manhunt now includes the ATF, Homeland Security, Detroit Police, Wayne County Sheriff Office and Michigan State Police.

12:05 p.m.

Police with guns drawn are looking in abandoned buildings and occupied houses for Derreck White, who was seen fleeing the federal courthouse with a deputy’s uniform before carjacking a woman in a silver Dodge minivan, which was recently recovered near Belle Isle.

Manhunt 20130909_3782“We are talking about a very dangerous suspect in the community,” Police Chief James Craig said.

Police are flooding that area as helicopters buzz overhead.

The suspect, who was in custody on a carjacking charge, is described as 5-foot-6, 155 pounds. He’s also known as Abraham Pearson.

Police also have flooded downtown and cordoned off a section of St. Antoine. The courthouse was evacuated.

Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon said the deputy, whose injuries weren’t serious, was escorting three prisoners, which he said is a standard guard-to-inmate ratio. Using a plastic object fashioned into a knife, White overpowered the deputy and unshackled himself.

Check back for continuous updates.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.