PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A Pender County deputy fired shots from his firearm on Thursday during an incident in the Maple Hill community.
According to a news release from the Pender County Sheriff's Office, Walter Ray Thompson, 53, of New Bern, was charged with resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer and was booked into the Pender County Jail on $2,000 bond. Additional charges are pending.
Deputies were conducting an investigation when they encountered two subjects seated in a parked car on the shoulder of Webbtown Road.
As deputies approached, the driver exited the vehicle and refused to speak with deputies. The remaining occupant of the car had what a deputy believed to be a handgun in his hand, and when the officer ordered him to drop the firearm and raise his hands, the suspect raised what the deputy believed to be a firearm toward the deputy.
At that time, shots were fired by one of the deputies.
The deputy involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative duty pending an internal investigation. District Attorney Ben David and Pender Sheriff Alan Cutler jointly requested an out of county, out of judicial district agency to review the use of force in this case.
A spokesperson for the Pender County Sheriff’s Office declined to release the name of the deputy, claiming North Carolina public records laws restrict the release of information related to the investigation of an employee until the investigation is completed.
A tweet from the North Carolina Police Benevolent Association stated that Wilmington attorney Barry Henline will be representing the unidentified deputy.
According to the Pender spokesperson, the State Bureau of Investigation was contacted at the time of the incident, but SBI protocol is to not conduct investigations of use of force incidents if there is no injury or death.