Murder suspect nabbed in Norfolk

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 24, 2007

AHOSKIE – After 10 months on the run, a Virginia man wanted for murder in Ahoskie is behind bars.

Curtis Lee Thomas, 37, of Norfolk was arrested Tuesday night after a long standoff with Norfolk Police at a home on McKann Avenue. Based on information received from the Norfolk Police, Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh said the standoff lasted approximately eight hours before Thomas surrendered to Norfolk authorities.

Thomas was wanted in Ahoskie for first degree murder, attempted first degree murder, first degree burglary and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The murder occurred on Dec. 9, 2006.

Chief Fitzhugh said the Norfolk Police SWAT team surrounded the McKann Ave. residence where they had information to believe Thomas was hiding inside of the home. At approximately 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Thomas surrendered and was placed under arrest.

Fitzhugh said APD Lt. Jeremy Roberts, who was heading-up the murder investigation in Ahoskie, drove to Norfolk on Tuesday night to confirm the outstanding warrants and to interview the suspect. He added that a fugitive warrant was filed against Thomas on Wednesday through the office of District 6B Attorney Valerie Asbell.

“I would like to thank the Police Chief of Norfolk, Va. along with the officers and SWAT Team who were dedicated with following through with the investigation that we started here in Ahoskie on December 9, 2006,” Chief Fitzhugh said.

The murder investigation began after Ahoskie Police were summoned to 213 West Hayes Street in the early morning hours of Dec. 9. There, in an upstairs apartment, ADP officers found a male shot in the upper torso and a woman suffering a gunshot wound in the leg. The male, later identified as Travis Lashawn Mabine of Ahoskie, was transported to Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in Ahoskie. He was then airlifted to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville where he later died.

The female victim was able to give officers a synopsis of what occurred, saying her ex-boyfriend (Thomas) entered the apartment from the rear door and started to shoot a rifle at her new boyfriend and her. Several shots were fired.

“We are still choosing not to identify the female survivor in this case due to security reasons,” Chief Fitzhugh said yesterday (Wednesday). “Her identity will be revealed once this case goes through the court system. Until that time, we feel it’s in the best interest of her safety not to reveal her name.”

Later on the morning of Dec. 9, a second call was received, one that placed Thomas back near the area of the crime scene. He was last seen driving a dark blue or black pick-up and did not surface again until Tuesday’s stand-off and subsequent arrest in Norfolk.