He is in the Durham County Lockup now, after a brave boy asked a stranger for help.
"Oh, he was blessed," said John Donaldson, an Eyewitness to last night's dramatic events at the BP station on Alston Avenue where he works. "He was blessed, because many kids wouldn't have got that far. He was a wonderful little boy!"
Security guard Ted Jones was also on the scene.
"He noticed my badge and he told me he was being held hostage by a man, in this black truck beside me," Jones said.
Jones says the boy's mother told him about the situation - after she saw McCrae commit a violent crime.
"She asked to leave and he wouldn't let her leave." Jones said. "He held her and her son, monitored them and wouldn't let them go anywhere without him."
Durham police who brought McCrae to the county jail last night also charged him with several crimes. They include felony possession of Ecstasy - a controlled substance, resisting an officer, posession of a firearm by a felon, and carrying a concealed gun - a .357 revolver.
John Donaldson calls Ted Jones a hero.
"Of course I would. Anybody would, because the [suspect] could have come in the store and done something. So he might have saved all of us, then."
McCrae has a court date in Durham Monday, and later, in Charlotte.