Sea Mountain Hwy reopens following standoff with suspect

Source: WMBF News Photographer Michael Walter
Source: WMBF News Photographer Michael Walter
Source: WMBF News Photographer Michael Walter
Source: WMBF News Photographer Michael Walter

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) The Horry County Police Department and federal agents have reopened Sea Mountain Highway near Highway 9 in Little River were they been negotiating with a man wanted out of Greenville County.

Sgt. Robert Kegler, spokesperson for the Horry County Police Department, tells WMBF News that Special Operations officers are responding to the home Wednesday as potential negotiators to try and make contact with someone inside the home.

Kegler says they were trying to make contact with Walter Eugene Johnson, wanted for two counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct out of Greenville County.

Teal Britton, spokesperson for Horry County Schools, says that North Myrtle Beach High School is on a functional lockdown, allowing students to move around within the building from class to class, but they are not allowed outside the building.

Britton said the school would also take extra precautions when evacuating students for the day.

Right now, it's unclear why Johnson was in that home, but a WMBF News crew on scene reports seeing at least three US Marshals.

Witnesses on scene say the suspect has been arrested and is in custody in a patrol car.

Sgt. Kegler and a representative from the US Marshals told our news crew on scene that the suspect was in a second room on the second floor of the home, and after about 45 min to an hour of no contact, Walter Eugene Johnson came out without incident.

Authorities swept the home after Johnson exited to assure he was in the home alone, and are looking to see if he was in possession of any weapons.

Johnson allegedly molested a 17-year-old girl. Kegler said there will be a press conference Thursday at 1 p.m. at J. Reuben Long Detention Center to provide further details about this arrest.

Stick with for the latest.

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