Sampson County deputy fired for comments on Facebook after homicide at country club

Andrea Blanford Image
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Sampson County deputy fired over Facebook comments
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The Sampson County Sheriff's Office investigated comments made on Facebook by then-deputy Patrick Foreman

SAMPSON COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Sheriff's deputy Charles Patrick Foreman was fired from the Sampson County Sheriff's Office after an investigation into comments he made on social media after a stabbing and shooting at a country club over the weekend.

Anthony King, 41, of Roseboro died from gunshot wounds after a fight broke out early Sunday morning at a private party at Lakewood Country Club in Salemburg.

Two additional people were shot, one person was stabbed, and two people were beaten, authorities said. One deputy sustained minor injuries and was treated at Sampson Regional for a cut to the arm. Another deputy's vehicle was struck by people trying to leave the scene, but that deputy was not hurt.


No one has been arrested, but authorities said they have persons of interest in the case.

Hours after the brawl, one person commented on The Sampson Weekly's Facebook post about the incident, "They want be getting there deposit back." To which Patrick Foreman, 45, a deputy who'd served four years with the Sampson County Sheriff's Office replied, "It don't matter, it was paid for on EBT."

EBT, or Electronic Bank Transfer, is used to issue food stamp benefits to recipients.

Capt. Eric Pope said Foreman's supervisor was made aware of the post that day and had the deputy delete it and his account.

While the Sheriff's Office launched an administrative investigation, people who took screenshots of the comment continued to share it on social media, expressing their outrage and calling for Foreman to turn in his badge.

Foreman was dismissed Tuesday.

In a statement, Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said, "The Sheriff's Office is dependent upon the public trust to be effective in its mission. The men and women of the Sampson County Sheriff's Office work too hard to earn the trust and respect of the citizens. I do not condone or tolerate any behavior on the part of my employees that brings the integrity of the Sheriff's Office into question."

Pope said investigators are continuing to interview witnesses and work toward making arrests.

"Priority number one is making sure that we catch the person that killed Mr. King," Pope said in the moments following Foreman's dismissal. "Hopefully, folks will- look, we did the right thing. We did what we were supposed to, and understand that we're serious about what we say. And we need their help to find the persons who are responsible."

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