Albemarle shooting leads to police chase through Locust

Justin Flip, Johnna Jones, and Douglas Thomas (SOURCE: Albemarle Police Department)

ALBEMARLE — An incident last week that began as a shooting at an Albemarle gas station ended with the Locust Police Department deploying road spikes to apprehend two suspects who attempted to escape. 

Just before 9 p.m. on June 1, officers from the Albemarle Police Department arrived at the Shell service station at the intersection of St. Martin Road and NC 24/27 with the notification that a person had been shot. Officers and other emergency personnel immediately assisted the victim, who was in stable condition after being transported to Northeast Medical Center. 

A felony vehicle pursuit began to capture the two suspects — Justin Flip, 43, of Charlotte; and Johnna T. Jones, 38, of Rock Hill, South Carolina — fleeing the scene of the crime in a white Mercedes, which was spotted by officers traveling west on West Main Street. 

With the suspects outside of Albemarle city limits, the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, Locust Police Department, Oakboro Police Department and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol were all contacted for further assistance in stopping the vehicle on Mission Church Road that was heading toward North Central Avenue.  

Near Whispering Hills Drive on Mission Church Road, a tire deflation device was successfully deployed by Locust officers; the spikes deflated three of the suspect vehicle’s tires as it crashed into a ditch off of Hwy 200 near Family Lane at the intersection of Mission Church Road. Neither of the two occupants of the vehicle suffered injuries during the incident.  

“The Locust Police Department is grateful for the outstanding communication and cooperation with all other involved agencies, and we are proud that our officers played a vital role in bringing the pursuit to a safe conclusion with arrests made,” the LPD wrote in a media release.  

“The Locust Police Department would also provide the friendly reminder that if probable cause is developed that a violent and/or felony crime has been committed in another jurisdiction and there is an attempt to flee to Locust, our officers are authorized to participate in any pursuit, and in appropriate circumstances will safely disable suspect vehicles to protect those inside our city as well as other officers every single time,” the release continued.  

Following interviews with APD detectives, Flip was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, discharging a weapon into occupied property, felony conspiracy, possession of firearm by felon, and discharging a firearm inside the city limits. He was transported to Stanly County Jail and received a $300,000 secured bond for his release.  

Jones was charged with felony conspiracy and felony flee to elude arrest and was sent to Stanly County Jail with a $60,000 secured bond.  

Douglas R. Thomas, 59, of Norwood, was charged with altering or destruction of evidence; he received a $1,500 secured bond for his jail release.  

Flip, Jones and Thomas will each have their first appearance in court on June 7 at 9 a.m.