MARSHALL COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - You can run, but you can't hide. That's now proven true for fugitive Rico Fleming. On Tuesday, January 10th, he was captured in St. Louis, Missouri after 17 days on the run.
The 22-year-old, one of Tennessee's Top 10 Most Wanted, is charged with the Christmas Day drive-by shooting that killed a 16-year old Memphis girl and injured three others.
Fleming has a long history of violent crimes and was wanted in both Tennessee and Mississippi. The search for him has been going on since Christmas. So how was he finally captured?
Fleming was tracked to his cousin's house in St. Louis. US Marshals surrounded that home just before six Tuesday night, and say he gave up because he was scared.
"He wanted officers to know that he was not armed," said U.S. Marshal Chris Felix.
As a team of marshals and local police swarmed outside, inside fugitive Rico Fleming decided to surrender.
"He had a female come out of the house and basically admit he was in the house," Felix said. "He wanted her to let officers know he was not armed, and was going to give himself up."
Felix said Fleming, who's hurt so many with his crimes, was afraid of being injured in the capture.
"When they went in the house to make the arrest, he was prone out on the ground," Felix tolds abc24.com.
The Marshall County Sheriff's Department credits CrimeStoppers with leading them to St. Louis.
"It just started clicking," said Deputy Kelly McMillen. "You just wouldn't believe, I'm talking hundreds of calls, several pages of names and phone number."
Most were anonymous tips.
"[Tipsters would say] 'This is what I know, or this is what I've heard,'" McMillen described. "'This is the location he's possibly at. You might want to check here or talk to this relative.'"
McMillen explained the search like putting together a puzzle. "The final piece of that puzzle was arresting Rico Fleming."
"They were really fearful of this guy being at large and had good reason to be," said Marshall County Sheriff, Kenny Dickerson. "So many of phone calls we received were people that absolutely wanted these guys off the street."
Deputies believe Fleming's been in St. Louis since the end of December.
They think Fleming could have arrived three days after the drive-by shooting in Mississippi that killed 16-year-old Derica Patterson Christmas morning.
Deputies already arrested 31-year-old Corey Albright and 16-year-old Christopher Collins for the shooting. Cops say Fleming's capture means all those responsible are in custody.
Derica's family was relieved.
"It's been rough, tough trying to make it day by day," said her mother, Carol Dye. "This put a smile on my face. This made my day."
"To the family, from this point on, we're going to do our best through the District Attorney's office to prosecute this case to the fullest," McMillen added.
Fleming was extradited from Missouri to Mississippi on Jan. 12, with his first court appearance at 1:00pm.