Friday, December 1, 2023

New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office says third alleged gunman from Wilmington protest arrested

When tear gas dispersed the crowd on Sunday, May 31, law enforcement lost track of four men who were allegedly carrying weapons at the protest. (Port City Daily photo / Mark Darrough)

WILMINGTON — The third of four suspects who allegedly broke state law by carrying firearms during a protest in downtown Wilmington at the end of May has been arrested, according to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.

James Robert Hoffman was arrested on Sunday, June 7, one week after the May 31 protest that turned chaotic as night fell. A joint civil unrest unit of New Hanover and Brunswick county deputies fired tear gas after ‘intelligence’ indicated there were four armed men in the crowd in front of City Hall, according to District Attorney Ben David.

Hoffman was charged under the state statute prohibiting firearms on government-owned property during a public gathering, a misdemeanor in North Carolina. Hoffman was previously identified only as having been riding a motorcycle in the vicinity of City Hall during the protest, wearing a black helmet.

Related: Two armed men from Wilmington protest arrested, two remain unidentified and at-large

NHCSO has also arrested 29-year-old Edward James Timothy Joynt 24-year-old David Tyshaun Malachi under NCGS § 14-277.2 — Malachi denied having a gun at the protest and said he plans to contest the charges.

A fourth individual, described only as a black male wearing a black shirt and a gold chain on the evening of the protest, is still at large, according to NHCSO. The investigation into this suspect is ongoing, according to NHCSO.  If anyone has any information, please contact the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office at 910-798-4162 or

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