LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) - A man wanted in the killing of a Monroe mother of five has been arrested and is being held at the Union County Jail.
Byron Watkins, 25, who deputies say was considered “armed and extremely dangerous,” was arrested in Lexington County, South Carolina, around 1 a.m. Friday.
Watkins is one of two men facing charges in the murder of Lucero Sosa Capote. Officials say Watkins and 19-year-old Antwan David Sturdivant broke into Capote’s home on Tower Court around 4:40 a.m. July 12 to rob the place. Capote was shot and killed while trying to protect her children. Two of her children were injured.
WBTV was there when Watkins was being brought to the Monroe Police Department. At first he didn’t say anything to our reporter on scene. When he was being brought back out to be taken to the jail, reporters heard him say he was sorry for his actions.
“Detectives here have spent an extraordinary amount of time on it. They take a lot of pride in this case and at the end of the day we want to bring some justice and closure to that family," said Monroe Chief of Police, Bryan Gilliard.
Lucero’s family said her kids feel safer knowing both the men are behind bars.
“It was a relief of peace knowing they are in custody and not able to harm anyone else," said Lucero’s sister, Miriam Capote. "The kids are able to sleep with more peace knowing they’re not out there and coming to where they are now.”
Family has set up a GoFundMe to raise money for the kid’s future education costs.
Lucero’s sister said the family is still grieving and trying to move just one day at a time. She had this message for the suspects.
“All I can say is I hope God can have mercy on them. He took a mother of five children. There’s really nothing to say,” said Capote.
Both Watkins and Sturdivant face first-degree murder, among other charges. Authorities searched for the men for days while warrants were out for their arrest.
Watkins arrest follows Thursday’s SWAT situation along the NC/SC border on Winterberry Lane. Deputies say they went there to serve a warrant on Watkins.
A shot was apparently fired in the SWAT encounter, but it was not made clear who fired the shot. Officials say no officers were hurt.
“We have a perimeter we’re checking every vehicle we’re checking in trunks and making sure there’s no way this individual can escape that way," City of Monroe Communications Director Peter Hovanec said.
“Active search for murder suspect underway near N.C./SC state line involving multiple agencies,” Union County Sheriff’s Office stated in a tweet.
Just after 3 p.m., officials said the scene of the SWAT situation was cleared and that Watkins was not found in the house.
SLED had sent a robot into the house to check if Watkins was there and determined he was not.
Monroe Police confirm the second man charged in this case, Sturdivant, turned himself in Wednesday night.