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Officials: Man sought for questioning in Shinnecock killing faces N.C. charge

Michael Gaines, seen in a photo from Pitt

Michael Gaines, seen in a photo from Pitt County Sheriff's office in North Carolina, was arrested on Sunday, the sheriff's office said. Credit: Pitt County Sheriff's Office

A man wanted for questioning in a Friday fatal shooting on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation was arrested in North Carolina and charged with breaking into a vehicle, authorities said.

Michael Gaines, 42, was being held without bail at the Pitt County Detention Center following his arrest Sunday, according to the Pitt County sheriff's office in Greenville, North Carolina. Deputies had responded to a report of someone breaking and entering into a vehicle about 8 p.m. in the town of Bethel, not far from Greenville, officials said. During a search of the area, they spotted Gaines, who fit the suspect's description, officials said.

Gaines, who has a Goldsboro, North Carolina, address, was charged with felony breaking and entering, the sheriff's office said.

Deputies then discovered he was wanted for questioning by New York State Police in connection with Friday's shooting of Mtundo Vanterpool, 43, who lived on the Shinnecock reservation in Southampton.

A day after the shooting, State Police asked for the public's help in finding Gaines, saying he was wanted for questioning, and released his photo. State Police did not release details about the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting.

Pitt County deputies also said Gaines had a fugitive warrant for a parole violation in New York and is expected to be extradited to New York.

State police did not immediately respond Wednesday night to questions about Gaines' arrest.

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