Zebulon kidnapping suspect arrested 9 times in Wake County since 2013

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – CBS 17 is learning more about the suspect in Tuesday’s kidnapping investigation that shut down a portion of U.S. 64 in Zebulon and forced some schools to close.

Raleigh Police say they found the body of 23-year-old Hugo Cortes-Ramirez in the woods with a pistol in his hands Tuesday morning.

The incident began after state troopers used stop sticks to deflate his car’s tires, stopping the car near exit 436 on the eastbound side of U.S. 64.

Zebulon Police Chief Timothy Hayworth, whose agency helped with the search, said Cortes-Ramirez fired at officers before running off into the woods. Raleigh Police confirm one of its agency’s officers fired at Cortes-Ramirez.

The victim, a female, was found in the suspect’s car unhurt, Hayworth said.

The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the circumstances surrounding the exchange of gunfire and the suspect’s death, which Hayworth said is preliminarily being investigated as a suicide.

Court records show police in Wake County arrested Cortes-Ramirez nine times dating back to 2013. The charges included crimes such as: assault, breaking and entering, drug possession, and most recently, carrying a concealed weapon.

He also faced felony larceny and conspiracy charges when Wilson police arrested him in 2016. Court records show the district attorney dropped those charges, though it’s not clear why.

Investigators have not said what relationship, if any, existed between Cortes-Ramirez and the victim.

Tuesday’s incident began around 4:30 a.m., when a Raleigh officer spotted the suspect’s car in the 4000 block of Capital Boulevard. Police say when the officer tried to stop the car, the driver took off, leading to the chase.

The police department has filed a petition in superior court to have video of the incident released to the public. In addition, an RPD spokesperson said she anticipates 911 calls and additional audio of the incident to be released as soon as Thursday.

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