Suspect captured after manhunt in Lenoir Co.

Robert Strother is accused of shooting two people, including a sheriff’s deputy.

Manhunt ends

LENOIR COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - UPDATE: The three-day manhunt for a gunman wanted for shooting a Lenoir County Sheriff’s deputy, and another man ended Saturday night with a shootout.

According to Lenoir County Public Information Officer Bryan Hanks, Robert Strother, the suspect, has been taken into custody by the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office.

According to Hanks, police responded to Banks School Road. When officials arrived, they found Strother on a porch, and he refused to surrender.

Strother and law enforcement officials got into a gunfight. Hanks confirms Strother was struck by gunfire multiple times.

Since Strother was struck by law enforcement, the S.B.I. will take over the investigation from here.

No additional injuries have been reported in the arrest.

Strother, who has multiple felony charges, is accused of shooting Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office Dep. Steven Key Thursday night, and seriously wounding a Lenoir County man and stealing his truck Friday morning.

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UPDATE: According to Lenoir County Public Information Officer Bryan Hanks, Robert Strother, the suspect in the shooting of a sheriff’s deputy and a civilian on Thursday and Friday, has been taken into custody by the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office.

No additional injuries have been reported in the arrest.

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Lenoir County Sheriff Ronnie Ingram says a man shot this morning by a suspect in last night’s wounding of a deputy sheriff is in critical condition.

Deputies found the man’s stolen pickup truck, but there was no sign of Robert Strother.

Strother, according to deputies, shot Deputy Steven Key Thursday night as well as a man on Lang Skinner Road around 6:45 a.m. this morning. Deputies say the victim’s truck was taken after he was shot.

A relative tells WITN News that her cousin was shot four times and is undergoing surgery at Vidant Medical Center this afternoon.

The sheriff said they believe Strother is still in the perimeter they have set up. Dozens of law enforcement officers from multiple agencies and counties are searching for the man.

The perimeter is along Kennedy Home Road to the north, Snake Road, and Lang Skinner Road to the south.

Ingram says those who were evacuated overnight should stay away from their homes until Strother is found.

“If residents want to return now, they are returning at their own risk. He (Strother) has shown what he will do, as evidenced by his actions this morning. He is still armed and extremely dangerous,” said Lenoir County Sheriff Ronnie Ingram.

Last night just before 9:00 p.m., Deputy Key went to a domestic call on Lang Skinner Road. The sheriff’s office says when the deputy addressed the man, who was standing in the yard with his back to the road, the suspect turned around with an assault-type rifle and shot at the deputy, hitting Key in the neck.

Key was treated and released from UNC Lenoir Health Care around midnight, according to the sheriff.

Strother has 4 warrants for his arrest related to the standoff:

  • Attempted first-degree murder
  • Assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflict serious injury
  • Discharging weapon in an occupied building
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon

A state highway patrol helicopter and drones are being used to find Strother. The SBI and FBI have also been called in.

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