Durand Lawson, the brother of the driver who fatally shot himself after a high-speed chase in Cranberry, is now in police custody.
New Castle police Chief Robert Salem said Lawson surrendered at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday after officers and agents from the U.S. Marshals office surrounded a home on Wallace Avenue in New Castle where Lawson had been holing up with a friend.
“He gave himself up,” Salem said.
The 20-year-old failed to return to Lawrence County Jail Saturday after he was released unattended to go to the funeral of his brother, Lagene Lawson, in New Castle.
According to Cranberry Police, 19-year-old Lagene Lawson fatally shot himself in the head Aug. 4 while behind the wheel of a stolen vehicle. Police had pursued him into the Cranberry Commons shopping center on Route 228 after a chase that began near Mars Area High School. The vehicle crashed into the Lane Bryant store, causing extensive damage.
After his brother’s death, Durand Lawson made comments that he felt police in Cranberry were responsible, Salem said. The chief added other members of the Lawson family also do not believe Lagene Lawson shot himself.
“He said, 'My brother never would have done that,'” Salem said.
New Castle investigators immediately alerted officers at Cranberry and state police at Butler Saturday that Durand Lawson, who Salem said has been known to carry weapons, was on the loose.
The chief did not know of any direct threats Durand Lawson made to Cranberry police.
Cranberry Sgt. Chuck Mascellino said there was no gunfire exchanged between Lagene Lawson and officers during the Aug. 4 pursuit. He said Monday that Cranberry police had not received any overt threats from Durand Lawson.
Earlier this week, a felony arrest warrant was issued for the elder Lawson, who had been awaiting trial on multiple drug-related charges.
Salem said tips to police and phone records led investigators to discover Durand Lawson’s location in New Castle.
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