It was one of the few times the sheriff has publicly addressed the recent crimes in Henderson. Thursday's message was one of several takeaways from Thursday's community watch association meeting featuring neighborhood watch leaders.
"Now I'm not trying to shift the blame, I want to make sure everybody's clear on this, but you know -- do what you can to protect yourself," White said.
Nearly two weeks ago the town saw a double murder. Also this month, two women were carjacked and one of them raped at gunpoint.
The sheriff said authorities have a sexual assault suspect in mind and have asked the FBI to help build a profile.
"It just takes time, but I'm confident in saying that we will solve this," White said.
His words provide little assurance to several women in the meeting who wanted a specific description of the suspect.
"He may be black, he may be white, he may be hispanic, that's what I was expecting, however they didn't say it," said Henderson resident Geraldine Champion.
The sheriff and other investigators have acknowledged releasing more information could compromise their investigation.
In the mean time they encourage residents to do what they can to protect themselves and their families, hinting at the right to bear arms.
"There may come a time where you have to protect yourself your property, your children.. and I encourage you to do so," White said.
However some believe encouraging guns in particular could make matters worse.
"My concern is a lot of innocent people are gonna be hurt because you've got everybody -- women like myself that have never handled a handgun trying to learn how to protect yourself," said Vance County resident Kathy Curren.