One person hospitalized after officer-involved shooting in Haywood County

One person hospitalized after officer-involved shooting in Haywood County

The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating an officer-involved shooting with the Haywood County Sheriff’s office over the weekend.

Officials said a man exchanged gunfire with deputies and was taken to the hospital after being injured. 

Officers responded to a 911 call in the eastern Haywood County community of Bethel on Saturday at about 5 p.m., according to a press release from the sheriff’s office. On the 911 call, a woman is heard describing her estranged husband coming up the driveway.

“I’ve got a restraining order on my husband, and he’s coming up the driveway right now,” the caller said, describing a white ’83 or ’84 Chevrolet truck.

The name of the person shot has not been released. The sheriff’s office has not said publicly whether he fired upon deputies first.

The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office told BPR that the 911 caller had a no-contact protective order in place against the suspect.
The caller told the 911 dispatcher, “My dad’s pulling his pistol out, and I’m getting mine.”

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“I’m going to say do what you feel is necessary,” the operator responded. “We’re going to get some deputies out that way.”

The caller called the operator back when she said her estranged husband then knocked on the door and said that he was giving her 10 minutes to come out of the home.

The caller told 911 that he was known to carry weapons but that he is no longer supposed to because of the restraining order. She explained they separated in February. Asked if her husband uses drugs, the woman said she suspected methamphetamine.

“I’ve never personally seen him do it. But that’s one of the reasons I left,” the caller said. “I never wanted to do this. I don’t know why he can’t let go...”

“I just don’t know what he’s liable to do. I just don’t want to take a chance,” she said.

On the call, the woman said she was hiding while her father told her estranged husband to leave his property. At one point, she checked what was going on in the driveway.

“I’m looking out the window right now and it looks like he’s arguing with the cops, the deputies,” the caller said.

“Go ahead and get away from the windows and door for me so that he can’t see y’uns and all that, okay?” the operator responded.

A moment later, the woman told the operator: “He does have shotgun. Oh sh*t.”
After deputies arrived, there is quiet on the call and then popping sounds like gunshots that start slowly and move to more rapid succession, followed by a woman screaming.

The law enforcement press release said the deputies attempted de-escalation techniques prior to the shooting.

“One of our deputies engaged in a lengthy discussion to do everything possible to resolve this without the use of force,” Haywood County Sheriff Bill Wilke told BPR. “Unfortunately, it did not go the way that we had hoped.”

On Monday, Haywood County Sheriff’s Office released two 911 tapes to BPR. About 15 minutes after the arrival of law enforcement, shots are heard on the 911 tape.

On the call, a deputy speaks with the caller after the incident as she asks if the suspect is dead.

“He ain’t dead, but he’s got enough holes in him to be dead though,” he said.

“Well did he pull the gun on y’uns and start firing?” the caller asked.

“No, we went to do less than lethal, and he grabbed that damn shotgun and, well, took off, so he got shot. Even with me trying to…he didn’t have but one round in the daggum shotgun but still he had more in his pocket,” the deputy explained on the 911 call.

Wilke would not confirm if the deputies involved are still working in the field. He said there were a “significant number” of deputies on that scene and that body cameras were worn. Wilke said he watched the footage on Monday morning.

“I have full confidence that everything that we did was to ensure the safety of everyone there – including the individual that we were engaging with,” Wilke said.

The State Bureau of Investigation confirmed that the office is investigating the incident. Haywood County Sheriff’s Offices requested that the SBI to conduct the investigation according to protocol, the press release said.

“I’m very proud of the professionalism and the manner in which the deputies handled this. I am waiting until the SBI completes its investigation before releasing any further details,” Wilke said.

The suspect was transported by helicopter to an area hospital, and no other injuries were reported, according to the press release.

Wilke would not confirm where the person involved in the shooting is being treated.

“He is still in the hospital and, I believe, stable. That was the last report that we got,” Wilke said on Monday.

Mission Health has not responded to a request for comment.

“I would really like to share more with you…,” Wilke told BPR. “I don’t want to inadvertently release something that is not 100% accurate without having the evidence in front of me to speak to.”

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