TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY -- Day 4 of manhunt in Pisgah forest. Multiple Law Enforcement agencies are searching for Phillip Michael Stroupe II . He has a long criminal history, charges in Buncombe County include kidnapping, assault with a deapdly weapon on a law enforcement officer and armed robbery. He is considered armed and dangerous.
UPDATE ON PISGAH FOREST MANHUNT: Monday, 7/24/2017 - Perimeter and search operations continue throughout the night and into the morning. Special response teams and tactical officers are still in the woods within our perimeter actively attempting to apprehend the suspect. Darkness presents many challenges but law enforcement remains vigilant in their efforts. We'll post any updates as we have them available.
Although we are disppointed that we have not located the suspect, our hopes are renewed by the thoughts, prayers, and well wishes from the community we serve. We are truly grateful for the outpouring of support, including the food, water, snacks, etc. One kind lady even gave us several cans of bug spray, which was so thoughful. We are truly overwhelmed. Thanks to the media who are helping us keep you all informed.
We are in very good shape right now in regards to resources, but if you still want to help, you may drop off items at the Sheriff's Office located at 153 Public Safety Way in Brevard. But again, we are very good for several days. What we respectfully request now is you continued prayers and patience as we seek a safe resolution to this event.
Unfortunately, U.S. Hwy 276 North will once again be restricted to emergency personnel as visitors will not be allowed close to the perimeter. Necessary employees will be granted access. We apologze for the inconvenience, but it remains a necessity for the public's safety. We assure you that normal operations will be restored as soon as safety permits. We understand the frustration, but also we appreciate your understanding.
Thank you again; we hope to update you soon with some good news. God Bless!
Below are the previous posts on the manhunt
On Saturday, July 22, 2017,
Transylvania County Sheriff’s Deputies received a BOLO from Henderson County in reference to a suspect vehicle in a breaking and entering in Mills River near the Transylvania and Henderson County Line. Later this same morning, Patrol Deputies with the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office located a vehicle matching the description in Pisgah National Forest, just off U.S. Highway 276 North. When a patrol deputy attempted to initiate a vehicle stop on Avery’s Creek Road, the suspect refused to stop and a vehicle pursuit ensued.
The suspect continued on Avery’s Creek Road, and at one point quickly exited his vehicle, and stole a mountain bike, while pointing a firearm (unknown handgun) at the victim / owner. The suspect placed the stolen bike in his vehicle, and the vehicle pursuit continued. TCSO Deputies were unable to make contact at that instance due to the crowded nature of hikers and campers on the roadway. The suspect then blocked the roadway, parking his vehicle sideways, got on the stolen mountain bike, and fled into the woods.
A perimeter was established in the area, and the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team (SRT) was called out to attempt to locate the suspect. Other agencies assisting in the manhunt include the Brevard Police Department, the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement, the NC State Highway Patrol (including helicopter support), the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office (including a Special Response Team), the NC State Bureau of Investigation, and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office. At the time of this press release, the suspect has not been located.
The suspect has been positively identified as Phillip Michael Stroupe II, Date of Birth 7/25/1978 (38 years old), with a last known address of Weaverville, NC. He is described as a white male, approximately 5-feet 8-inches tall, with a small build; he has a shaved head and a large distinct tattoo on his neck just under his chin. HE IS CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS. The suspect has a history of violence and resisting law enforcement. He has outstanding warrants in Buncombe County for kidnapping, and he also has pending charges in Yancey County.
If anyone has any information, please contact the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office at (828) 884-3168.
Latest update on Pisgah Forest manhunt: search operations will continue into the night. Law enforcement will be switching shifts and rotating special response teams to get fresh boots on the ground. Operation plans are in place for early daylight hours tomorrow morning barring the suspect's capture later tonight. We continue to appreciate your patience until we can return to normal activities in the national forest. Thank you for your faithful support and well wishes. Please offer continued prayers for a safe, successful, and soon conclusion to this event.
UPDATE ON PISGAH FOREST MANHUNT: Law Enforcement has continued the search for Phillip Michael Stroupe II throughout Saturday night and into Sunday,
July 23, 2017. The suspect was encountered by a witness in the Yellow Gap Road area. Early reports were that the witness was kipnapped; however, these reports turned out to be misconstrued - THE WITNESS WAS NOT KIDNAPPED. The suspect did display the handgun to the witness, but never pointed it in his direction. The suspect wanted a ride, but the witnessed advised that he would make a call for him if he would leave him alone. After approximately 30 minutes, the suspect left the witness and walked back into the woods. The perimeter has been maintained, and the search has been concentrated in the area where the suspect was last spotted. It is unknown if the suspect still has access to the stolen mountain bike, therefore the net is being widely cast. Communication has been a major challenge, but we appreciate the public's understanding. More updates will follow as we have them.
Sheriff David Mahoney and the Transylvania County Sheriff's Office is extremely grateful for all of the assistance from Law Enforcement throughout WNC, not to mention the fire departments and rescue squads with countless resources and manpower. We will properly thank them when time permits.
Most of all, we want to thank the citizens of Transylvania County for all of your prayers and support. You truly are the best, and we're blessed to serve you. To our visitors to the Pisgah National Forest, we appreciate your patience. Please continue to pray for a safe, successful, and soon conclusion to this event.
July 24, 2017
Update on Pisgah Forest Manhunt: Law enforcement from multiple agencies continued to assist the Transylvania County Sheriff's Office throughout Sunday night into Monday morning with the search efforts. Manpower was being switched out so some could rest and put fresh teams in the woods and on the perimeter. The WNC law enforcement community, as well many other public safety departments in supporting roles, have been absolutely fantastic. We greatly appreciate it! Many of our own have spent an untold number of hours away from their lives and families to dedicate themselves in apprehending the suspect. We have the best men and women on our staff, and we're grateful for their service.
We believe the suspect is still in the perimeter as of this update. Hopefully, normal National Forest operations will continue soon. However, the public's safety is our top priority, and we want to ensure everyone can safely visit and enjoy our forest before we reopen the roadways. We ask you for your continued patience and appreciate your kindness thus far. Our community has been wonderful! Donations of water, drinks, snacks, etc. have not gone unnoticed. We are humbled and blessed to be able to serve you.
To the business community at the entrance of the forest, we are so sorry for the inconvenience, but we assure that we are working as hard as we can to come to a conclusion as quickly as possible. Thank you as well for your understanding.
We request your continued prayers for a safe, successful, and soon resolution. Thank You!
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