Monday, March 4, 2024

Pender County deputies involved in shooting believed unarmed man was pointing a gun at them, no injuries reported

District Attorney Benjamin David and Sheriff Alan Cutler jointly requested an out-of-county, out-of-judicial-district agency to review the use of force in this case.

Pender County Sheriff's Office deputies were involved in a shooting Thursday (Courtesy Pender County Sheriff's website)
Pender County Sheriff’s Office deputies were involved in a shooting Thursday (Courtesy Pender County Sheriff’s website)

PENDER COUNTY — The Pender County Sheriff’s Office has issued a statement on a deputy-involved shooting that took place Thursday night when deputies believed an occupant of a vehicle was armed and aiming a weapon at them — he was not.

“On Thursday, January 17 at approximately 9:58 pm, deputies with the Pender County Sheriff’s Office were conducting an investigation in the 1300 block of Webbtown Road in the Maple Hill community of Pender County. During the course of the investigation, deputies encountered two subjects seated in a parked car on the shoulder of Webbtown Road. As the deputies approached the vehicle to speak with the occupants, the driver of the vehicle exited and refused to speak with deputies,” according to Captain James Rowell of the PCSO.

“Deputies approached the remaining occupant of the vehicle and a deputy observed what he believed to be a handgun in the vehicle occupants hand. The deputy ordered the occupant to drop the firearm and raise his hands, the vehicle occupant was non-compliant and raised what the officer believed to be a firearm toward the officer. At that time, shots were fired by one of the deputies on scene,” Rowell continued.

The occupant of the vehicle was identified as 53-year-old Walter Ray Thompson of New Bern; he was not injured during the incident.

“Initially, Thompson identified himself as Alfred Thompson. He was charged with Resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer and was booked into the Pender County Jail under a $2000.00 secured bond. Additional charges are pending. The deputy involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative duties pending an internal investigation. The District Attorney’s Office was notified and will assist as needed with the internal investigation,” Rowell said.

The deputy involved is not being named due to state statute and the State Bureau of Investigation is not investigating since no injuries or deaths occurred.

“District Attorney Benjamin David and Sheriff Alan Cutler jointly requested an out-of-county, out-of-judicial-district agency to review the use of force in this case. As a matter of investigative process, the Pender County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an internal investigation into the matter as well,” Rowell said.

Rowell confirmed Thompson did not have a firearm in his possession, but would not release more information at this time as to what Thompson may have been holding.


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