The man wanted in connection to a homicide case out of New Smyrna Beach that caused the lockdown of two schools Friday afternoon has been taken into custody.

  • Willie Singleton Jr. sought in homicide case
  • Singleton was taken into custody after several hours' search
  • 2 schools were placed on lockdown during search

Willie Singleton Jr. was wanted as a person of interest in the murder of Andre Overstreet, New Smyrna Beach Police said. He was also wanted on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The search for Singleton was in the area of Delaware and Beresford avenues in the DeLand area.

Singleton was taken into custody in DeLand at about 3 p.m.

Sheriff Mike Chitwood said they worked for hours to persuade him to come out without hurting anyone. They even brought Singleton's mother to make a heartfelt plea.

"For 15 minutes, she pleaded with him to come out, and he refused to acknowledge her at all," Sheriff Chitwood said.

When her pleas didn't work, law enforcement used tear gas to make the arrest.

"When we got here, the objective was to talk as long as we could talk, as long as he could talk so we could resolve this thing peaceably, and that's exactly how it worked out," the sheriff explained.

Chitwood said Singleton cut his own wrists but was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive.

Singleton had previous arrest warrants he needed to address, which led to his arrest.

The schools placed on lockdown were Southwestern Middle School and Starke Elementary School, according to a Volusia County Schools spokeswoman.

DeLand Police said Starke Elementary released children at its normal time of 3:05 p.m. Students were to be released on the north side of the school, and all parent pickup traffic would be directed north of the school, police said.