GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — A man who was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list following the death of a baby in Tampa in 2019, was arrested in Pitt County, North Carolina, after he reportedly barricaded himself inside a home for nearly three hours on Monday.
Pitt County Sheriff Paula Dance told members of the media that Claude Brooks Jr., a man who was a child murder suspect in Florida and was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, was taken into custody. He had barricaded himself inside a home in the Windsor Development of Buckingham Drive. Deputies ended the standoff by going into the home, where Brooks was eventually found hiding in the attic.
Around noon, deputies, EMS and other personnel were on the scene of “an active law enforcement event.” Officials warned residents to shelter in place while others were warned to avoid the area.
In a Facebook post, the initial notice stated, “If you are not in the area, please stay out of the area until notified otherwise. We will advise further when possible. This is not a drill.”
Just before 2 p.m. on Monday, the sheriff’s office issued a new Facebook post that stated, “The incident in the Windsor Development continues. It is isolated to one residence near the cul-de-sac at the end of Buckingham Dr. where a wanted suspect is barricaded inside a residence. Stay clear from the area of the residence, as it is dangerous. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
At 2:43 p.m., the sheriff’s office posted to Facebook that the suspect was in custody.
“Update: The suspect is now in custody with no one injured. The home remains a crime scene and off-limits. Thank you for your patience and support during this prolonged operation. Safety first.”
Brooks was wanted for first-degree murder while engaged in aggravated child abuse. The arrest warrant was issued after an 8-month-old child in his care died.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said it responded to a home in the 9000 block of Sunset Drive on Dec. 30, 2019 after a family member for the child unresponsive. The child died at Brandon Regional shortly after arriving to the hospital.
Investigators said the child had serious injuries, and they believed Brooks was responsible for his death.
Brooks is expected to be extradited to Hillsborough County for his trial.
“The victim’s family, along with our detectives, can rest a little easier knowing this suspect is now behind bars,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “This act of cruelty was a tragedy and will not be forgotten. There is collective outrage at #teamHCSO over this case, and we’re committed to bringing Brooks to justice.”