Task force arrests man accused of shooting at Durham cop

Syron Deshon Townsend
Syron Deshon Townsend

U.S. marshals Thursday captured a man charged with attempted murder for what Durham police said was firing bullets at a police officer during a foot chase last weekend.

Syron Deshon Townsend, 28, was brought to Durham and jailed without bond on a range of charges stemming from the incident Jan. 9 at the McDougald Terrace public housing complex and on charges from 2013, 2014 and 2015. Those included robbery with a dangerous weapon and intimidating a witness in a criminal case.

The shooting incident happened on Sima Avenue about 11:30 p.m. after police had stopped a man for questioning, police said.

The man broke free from police and ran, then fired shots at a pursuing officer, police said. The officer fired back, but neither the man, who police say was Townsend, nor the officer were hurt.

Interim Police Chief Larry Smith thanked people who live in the McDougald complex with providing “crucial information” that helped investigators put a name to the suspect. “We are grateful for their assistance,” Smith said.

Investigators tracked Townsend to Burlington, where a marshals service Joint Fugitive Task Force found and arrested him, police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said.

The additional charges against Townsend include assault on a government official, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, multiple counts of assault on a female and assault with a deadly weapon, and gun possession by a felon.

The U.S. Marshals Service operates fugitive-hunting task forces across the country, blending federal agents with local officers, county deputy sheriffs and state troopers and probation and parole officers. The state county and local officials are deputized as deputy U.S. marshals, giving them nationwide authority to make arrests.