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Pender County murder suspect fatally shot by U.S. Marshals at Whiteville Walmart

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 4:00 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2021 at 6:58 PM EDT
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WHITEVILLE, N.C. (WECT) - William Dean Hewett, who was wanted in connection with the murder of his estranged girlfriend, Brandy Lynn Price, in Pender County over the weekend, was confirmed as the suspect shot and killed by U.S. Marshals at the Walmart in Whiteville Thursday afternoon.

Details of the fatal shooting were released in a press conference held at the County Courthouse by District Attorney Jon David.

David said he, Whiteville Police Chief Douglas Ipock, the acting U.S. attorney and U.S. Marshal called for the SBI investigation to maintain public confidence in the process. Multiple agencies are involved and 12 agents from the SBI are working on the case.

Some of the officers involved are task force agents employed by agencies in Horry County, South Carolina.

None of the law enforcement officers involved in the shooting are employed as law enforcement officers in Columbus County; but as the incident happened there, it falls under the DA’s jurisdiction.

“The role of my office will be to determine is the use of force in this case appropriate and a measured response to what happened in front of them,” said David.

RELATED: Man wanted for murder in Pender County

He added that his office is going to review the interviews, videotapes and the crime scene that is already being processed in order to make a determination after a complete and thorough review of all the facts and circumstances of this case.

According to a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Marshals’ Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force was attempting to apprehend Hewett at Walmart when he produced a firearm and was fatally shot by officers.

No law enforcement officer was hurt in the shooting.

The following statement was released by the U.S. Department of Justice:

“The U.S. Marshals Service Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force was involved in an officer-involved shooting resulting in a fatality on Columbus Corners Drive in Whiteville, North Carolina, Thursday, June 24. The task force was attempting to apprehend a fugitive with a warrant from Pender County Sheriff’s Office for first degree murder. The suspect produced a firearm, and the task force fired, striking the suspect. No law enforcement officer injuries occurred. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is the lead investigative agency on this incident. The U.S. Marshals Service will also conduct an internal review after SBI completes its investigation.”

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation will be the lead investigating agency on the shooting and the U.S. Marshals Service will conduct an internal review after the SBI’s investigation is complete, the DOJ spokesperson said.

According to a previous news release by the Pender County Sheriff’s Office, Hewett had been wanted on a charge of first-degree murder after his estranged girlfriend, Brandy Lynn Price, was found dead on College Street in Atkinson on Saturday.

At the time, Hewett was believed to be in the Shallotte or Ocean Isle Beach area of Brunswick County, driving a 2003 red Ford Ranger pick-up truck.

The Pender County Sheriff’s Office warned the public that Hewett was known to be violent and that he should be considered armed and dangerous, according to the release.

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