HOPE MILLS, N.C. (WTVD) --Hope Mills police shot and killed a New Jersey man Thursday morning after the man stabbed his wife in a bank parking lot.
The incident happened just after 10 a.m. in the PNC bank parking lot, located at the intersection of Cumberland and Hope Mills Roads.
Police say Darrell Haymon, 53, was stabbing his wife, Lorrie Haymon, 51, when two officers initially responded to the domestic assault.
Many people called 911 when they saw the situation unfolding.
Caller: "I've got several people outside with weapons. Somebody came across the parking lot with a hammer. I can't see them from where I'm at now. We've got the doors locked."
Caller: "There's people walking up to him and I'm scared he's going to hurt them, too."
Caller: "I just pulled off because they all got guns out and I've got my kids."
Caller: "I've got a guy who's stabbing a young lady at the PNC bank... Yes, he's stabbing her."
"When the suspect saw our officers, he grabbed the victim by the throat and refused commands to let the victim go, and drop the knife," said Hope Mills Police Chief Joel Acciardo. "When the officers observed him getting ready to stab the victim again, they opened fire.
Acciardo said two of six officers responding opened fire, killing Darrell Haymon. The woman was transferred to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. Her condition is unknown.
The officers who opened fire have been identified as Kristen Thompson and Brad Dean. Thompson has been with the Department since 2012, and Dean has been with the Department since 2010. Acciardo called the incident sad, but said the officers had no choice but to shoot Haymon.
"Any time there's any police interaction where there's a life lost it's always very sad. It's always very tough," he said. "Because obviously we're here to fix things not to hurt things."
Police have not said whether the couple was at the bank to conduct business. ABC11 has confirmed through family members that the couple is from New Jersey. Darrell Haymon's mother and brother said the two had been in North Carolina for several weeks.
"They were down there looking to buy a house," said Darrell's brother, Andre Haymon.
Andre Haymon said his brother was self-employed, and his sister-in-law worked in healthcare. He said he was unaware of any domestic issues between the two.
"No, nothing like this," said Andre.
The PNC bank lot where the stabbing and shooting happened is in a shopping center, near a busy intersection. Several witnesses talked to ABC 11, including Tyler Cook, who said he saw the stabbing.
"It looked like he had her in a headlock," he said. "I thought he was punching her, but when I looked over he was stabbing her. There was like blood everywhere."
Another witness, who asked to remain unidentified, described the man and several rounds of gunfire that followed the stabbing.
"He looked disturbed to me," the man said. "The lady cop screamed at the detective, 'C'mon, hurry up, hurry up.'"
Thompson and Dean will remain on leave pending a SBI investigation, which is standard in an officer-involved shooting.
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