08/02/11 — Woman taken; ends in shootout

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Woman taken; ends in shootout

By Gary Popp
Published in News on August 2, 2011 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Bullets were fired into a home in the 500 block of Oliver Street after a woman went into the house to escape two men lawmen believe held her against her will.

Mount Olive police Chief Brian Rhodes said the investigation into the possible kidnapping of Natasha Philippi, 26, of Central Heights Road, and the shooting that followed is still in its early stages.

The two men have not been located.

Rhodes said it appears Ms. Philippi willingly entered the men's vehicle in Goldsboro sometime early this morning. They then took her to Mount Olive and apparently held her in a home that police have not yet identified. Rhodes said Ms. Philippi is unfamiliar with Mount Olive and has not been able to confirm which home she was being held in.

According to her account, she escaped and ran to the nearby home on Oliver Street. After the men discovered her escape, they followed and allegedly began firing shots into the building.

While no one was hit, debris from the home struck a resident who was later taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital. The resident was not named.

Ms. Philippi was also taken to the hospital.

The investigation is considered a top priority at the Mount Olive Police Department, which is working with Goldsboro police on the case.

Rhodes said surveillance video and other leads might help in the investigation.

"We are very much pursuing this case," Rhodes said. "This is type of stuff we are not going to tolerate in Mount Olive. We are hoping to gain enough info to charge someone and bring them to justice."