Wake County Sheriff's Office gives update on deputy shooting tenant in Raleigh standoff

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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Wake County Sheriff's Office gives update on deputy shooting tenant
The Wake County Sheriff's Office said the man was taken to WakeMed with serious injuries.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Wake County Sheriff Willie Rowe held a brief news conference inside the John H. Baker, Jr. Public Safety Center on Wednesday afternoon, where he addressed Tuesday's standoff that ended with a deputy shooting a tenant who refused to leave after an eviction action.

Rowe disclosed few details, citing the ongoing investigation.

"We were carrying out a civil process that turned criminal and resulted in an individual being harmed, being shot. These kinds of incidents are unfortunate. We don't look forward to them, and we deal with them accordingly," said Rowe.

Rowe did not release the identities of the man shot or the deputy involved, citing the investigation is being led by the State Bureau of Investigation

"It would be inappropriate for me to release any details as it's an ongoing investigation. SBI is leading that matter and it's up to them to release information," Rowe answered when asked whether the man had a weapon.

WATCH: Sheriff Rowe's full media briefing

Raw Video: Wake County Sheriff Willie Rowe's full media briefing.

He reiterated that the deputy who fired the shots was on administrative leave, which is standard policy in such cases.

"The individual refused to leave, and at that point, it became a criminal matter," Rowe said. "We discharge our duties to the best of our ability. I think the game-changer is when the individual refused to leave."

In an e-mail response, an SBI spokesperson told ABC11 that the investigation is ongoing and its findings will ultimately be handed over to the Wake County District Attorney's Office to determine whether charges are warranted.

"Our role really is to determine, was the use of force lawful or not," said District Attorney Lorrin Freeman.

Neighbors React to Standoff

Freeman couldn't discuss the specifics of this case but did speak to ABC11 about the typical eviction process, which Rowe noted his deputies handle daily.

"It's a months-long process of someone being given notice that they are delinquent in their rent and then given an opportunity to be heard in court. And then even after an order is entered for eviction, there's an opportunity to come and cure the eviction by paying into the court to prevent that writ of execution from being issued," said Freeman.

She said she anticipates the SBI's investigation to take months, as the agency gathers audio and visual recordings, witness statements and other evidence.

"Generally, the use of force is specific to that point in time. But certainly, there are instances where we may look back and see, were there things that the officers on scene knew about the situation prior to showing up there," said Freeman.

The shooting happened hours after deputies arrived at The Oaks Apartments on Water Oaks Drive around 10:45 a.m. in Raleigh. WCSO said deputies were there to serve an eviction order and the man refused to leave. He barricaded himself inside the apartment which started a standoff that lasted into the early evening hours.

Investigators evacuated nearby apartments as a precaution.

Officers surrounded the apartment complex and worked for nearly seven hours to get the man to come out.

Around 5:30 p.m. deputies went inside the apartment to enforce the eviction order and remove the man. During the attempt to remove him, one deputy fired his gun wounding the man, WCSO said Tuesday in a news release.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office said the man was taken to WakeMed with serious injuries.

The man nor the deputy who shot him have been identified.

WATCH | CHOPPER 11: Wake County deputies evacuate apartment when tenant refuses eviction