AURORA, Ohio — What started out as a peaceful Fourth of July for a community in Portage County quickly turned into a terrifying one.
Family gatherings and barbecues were interrupted by a high speed chase and manhunt for two men accused of armed robbery.
People who live in Aurora say the small town doesn’t typically get that much action.
“Usually it doesn’t happen like that around here,” Louis Pederi, who lives in Aurora, said.
But that wasn’t the case Thursday.
“We passed some cops with their lights on racing obviously towards this direction,” Aileen Murphy, who lives in nearby Mantua, said.
Now, 19-year-old Quandin Shunquan-Jones is in police custody, accused of armed robbery.
Police say Shunquan-Jones and another man stole a 2011 Ford Edge at gunpoint on July 1 in Cleveland.
Around 1:30 Thursday, Aurora police officers tried to pull over that vehicle on State Route 43, but instead of stopping, the men led police on a high speed chase before crashing into a tree on a dead end road.
Both then got out and took off on foot into the woods.
“And you could hear the helicopters going up high and just kind of circling around, so we were like I don’t know what’s going on, but its obviously not good,” Murphy said.
As police and the U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force searched that area, people who live nearby were told to stay inside by police.
“Like anxiety was taking in. Like we needed to close all the garages and stay inside because we don’t know if they’re coming in the back,” Nicole Latine, who lives in Aurora, said.
One woman who did not want to go on camera said the men ran right through her backyard on East Mennonite Road, waving at her landlord.
She sent News 5 photos of officers with K-9s searching that area.
They say they found Shunquan-Jones not far from there near East Mennonite and Page Road, but even after a thorough search the second man has not yet been found.
People we spoke to say they’re not worried.
“Usually it’s a pretty good safe little town here, I mean its not too bad, you know, so I think everybody will be fine. They’ll catch the guy,” Pederi said.
Police suspended that search early Thursday evening.
They believe the vehicle and the two men involved in the manhunt may be responsible for other armed robberies in the area.