The Mar-Mac community is under a Code Red alert from the Wayne County Sheriff's Office as a manhunt for a man who ran from a traffic stop in March got underway Monday.
Maj. Tom Effler said the man is also considered a possible suspect in a Sunday night murder in Dudley and should be considered armed and dangerous.
Effler said this morning the Code Red alert should still be considered active even though it was issued Monday evening, as the man has not been apprehended.
The area under code red is an approximate 3-mile radius from Durham Lake Road.
Effler said the man was identified by authorities as 33-year-old Ricky Terrell Ward, of Mount Olive.
Effler said the code red was issued at 3:49 p.m. Monday after someone called authorities and said they spotted a man running into the woods with a firearm.
After further interviews with residents in the area, Effler said the sheriff's office deduced the man they are looking for could be Ward.
Effler said he could not go into detail about how Ward was developed as both the manhunt and possible murder suspect.
He said a Code Red means residents in the affected area should stay inside, lock their doors and call authorities if the man is spotted.
Ward is a possible suspect in a Sunday night murder in Dudley in which 35-year-old David Demarlo Thompson was shot in his back yard at 109 Arrowhead Road and died on the way to the hospital.
A press release said Ward is wanted for questioning in connection to the killing.
Authorities set up a command center at the Mar-Mac Volunteer Fire Department off of Old Grantham Road Monday evening to look for the man.
Effler said the command post broke down around 7 p.m. Monday, but saturation patrols were conducted in the area all night.
"We had two-or-three-times as many people out there last night as we normally do," Effler said.
Ward allegedly held a man and woman at gunpoint at a Speedway gas station at 1501 U.S. 70 West inside a red Ford Taurus he gave them a ride in March 27.
According to reports from the time, Ward's firearm went off inside the car and the man and woman were able to get out of the car unharmed.
Ward was then spotted by authorities, crashed the car into a treeline and ran from the crash on foot and was not caught.
A press release on the code red issued for Mar-Mac said Ward is also wanted on charges out of Raleigh. The vehicle he crashed during the chase at the end of March belonged to a man reported missing out of Raleigh March 19.
That man, 22-year-old Justice Courtney Lyons, is still missing.
Ward is wanted on charges out of Wake County for allegedly stealing Lyons' car, the release said.
Ward is a tall, skinny black man with a mustache and goatee, and has a tattoo over his right eye and teardrop tattoos under his eyes. He was last seen wearing dark pants and a dark hoodie.
If anyone believes they see Ward, they should not approach him. Instead, they should call 911 immediately and report his location. Anyone with information about Ward should call the sheriff's office at 919-731-1480, or Crimestoppers at 919-735-2255.