Rocky Mount standoff ends after 10 hours

Robert Looney

June 11, 2010 12:54:49 PM PDT
A standoff between federal, state, local law enforcement officials and a wanted man, who barricaded himself inside a home, ended after 10 hours on Thursday.

The incident unfolded in the 700 block of Kinchen Drive, just off NC 97.

A spokesperson for the City of Rocky Mount said the standoff began when U.S. Marshals tried to serve an arrest warrant on a man federal officials identify as 33-year-old Robert Looney. The spokesperson said Looney is wanted for a homicide in Baltimore.

Looney apparently refused to come out as the warrant was being served Thursday morning. Officials said he also had his girlfriend in the house with him, who they later learned he was keeping hostage. The incident led to U.S. Marshals, Rocky Mount Police, the SBI bomb squad, Raleigh Police, and other agencies to be called to the scene. An armored truck was also brought in, along with Rocky Mount firefighters.

The Rocky Mount Police Department and SBI Crisis Negotiators negotiated with Looney for several hours in an attempt to safely resolve the situation. During the negotiations Looney told officials he had firearms and explosives and threatened to kill his hostage and officers.

Around 5 p.m. Looney walked out of the house, using his girlfriend as a shield, and got into a vehicle alone.

Police say Looney sped towards a Rocky Mount police officer as well as other law enforcement and EMS personnel in the area. A member of the SBI Special Response Team then fired his weapon striking Looney and the vehicle.

EMS personnel at the scene transported Looney to the hospital with a hurt arm.

A hospital spokesperson says Looney suffered at least one gunshot wound and emergency room staff stabilized him, before transporting him to another hospital in Greenville. He is expected to survive.

Police have interviewed his girlfriend, who was released as a hostage before Looney got into the vehicle. They say they knew about Looney whereabouts, because they received a tip from Baltimore officials that he was in North Carolina.

Deputy David Lutz of the U.S. Marshals Service in Baltimore told ABC11 Looney is wanted in the city for an attempted murder in September of 2009, and is also wanted on separate charges out of Baltimore County. He would not specify what those charges are.

According to a Baltimore news station, Looney was calling its newsroom Thursday. Apparently, he is no stranger to standoffs. In 2007, he barricaded himself in a west Baltimore home.

Recently, Baltimore's Fox 45 profiled the fugitive on its "Fugitive Files" segment.

Lutz says Looney is a high ranking member of the Black Guerrilla Family prison gang. Of the 100 known gangs in Baltimore, BGF is one of the most notorious ones and is known for running outside operations from prison.

Looney fled Maryland in September, and was tracked by the Feds to Atlanta, then Norfolk, and finally to Rocky Mount.

Christeen McNeil owns the property where the standoff took place. She says she rented it out to a family with four children and has never heard of or seen Looney. So when authorities showed up at her door Thursday morning, she didn't know what to think.

"They was just saying there was a problem and had somebody hostage inside the house [and I] gave them a layout of the property," McNeil said.

Homes closest to the scene were evacuated and a multi-block stretch of Kinchen Drive was shut down to all traffic.

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