Funeral held for deputy killed during shootout

LENOIR COUNTY A funeral for Detective Allen Pearson was held Saturday morning in Kinston. His burial immediately followed the service. The 29-year-old died at a local hospital after he was shot during a shootout just before 10 p.m. Tuesday. The incident began when Lenoir County sheriff's detectives responded to a 911 call about a man firing shots in a wooded area. The deputies arrived at the scene near Grifton, N.C., which is about 75 miles southeast of Raleigh.

Authorities say the suspect, who the sheriff's office identified as 43-year-old Clarence Douglas Phillips, began shooting at the deputies, forcing them to take cover. After warning the suspect to surrender several times, deputies say Phillips ignored the officers and continued to fire his gun.

While on the scene, deputies learned that the body of 49-year-old Cynthia Tillett Knighten was found in Craven County, and Phillips may have been involved in that murder. Deputies determined a car at the scene also belonged to her.

More deputies were called to the Grifton scene to assist and the Highway Patrol assisted with its helicopter.

From the air, they were able to pinpoint Phillip's exact location on the ground. Deputies then moved closer to that location. As they approached Phillips, more gunshots were exchanged and the deputies shot him.

A second deputy, Detective Ryan Dawson, was shot in the neck area and transported to Pitt Memorial Hospital. He is currently recovering from his injuries.

Phillips was transported to Lenoir Memorial Hospital with multiple gunshot wounds. According to the Craven County Sheriff's Office, he died from his injuries Wednesday morning.

The SBI is assisting in the investigation.

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