Drone leads to fugitive’s arrest in Stafford Co. manhunt

WASHINGTON — A drone helped sheriff’s deputies in Virginia locate a wanted fugitive during a manhunt, after the man allegedly fired several gunshots into a parked car.

Stafford County Sheriff’s Office says investigators received a phone call early Thursday from a concerned citizen, who had been in contact with a woman who lives in a home on Tacketts Mill Road. The woman in the home said a man who lived there got angry, went outside, fired several gunshots into a parked vehicle and came back inside.

Responding deputies removed the woman and her young son from the home, and deputies started looking for the shooter, who had a probation violation.

A Reverse 911 call to neighbors warned them to stay inside, and be on the look out for a white man in his 20s, with a beard and numerous tattoos. He was last seen in camouflage pants and a hat.

A police drone spotted the suspect walking near power lines, along a tree line. A SWAT team took him into custody.

Jeffrey Michael Owens is charged with being in possession of a firearm as a felon, and reckless handling of a firearm.

Court records show Owens had previous convictions for violent crimes, including unlawful wounding, carnal knowledge of a minor and assault and battery.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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