LUMBERTON — A man fatally shot by a highway patrolman in Lumberton Monday night was “hostile” and “displayed a handgun,” according to the state Highway Patrol.
The identity of the dead man has not been released Tuesday afternoon.
According to a statement from the Highway Patrol, the shooting occurred while two employees of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office and a sergeant with the state Highway Patrol were conducting rescues in Lumberton.
“Preliminary information shows while traveling on a flooded portion of West Fifth Street, the officers encountered a male individual. The male became hostile towards the officers and displayed a handgun,” the statement said. “After observing the handgun, the sergeant shot the man, who succumbed to his injuries.”
Gov. Pat McCrory spoke about the incident in an early morning press conference on Monday. The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting, but McCrory said investigators are facing “difficult circumstances because there are still flood waters.”
Sgt. J.F. Hinson has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation as is standard procedure. According to the Highway Patrol, he is a 13-year veteran assigned to the Troop B District 7 Lumberton State Highway Patrol office located in Robeson County.
“I am proud that our first responders were in the community rendering aid to our citizens,” said Col. Bill Grey, commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. “While we are saddened by any loss of life, I am thankful that our member and the Robeson County Sheriffs’ deputies were not injured.”
In a separate incident, it has not been confirmed whether a Lumberton store owner shot a thief Monday night, as was previously reported.
Capt. Terry Parker, with the Lumberton Police Department, said a thief had broken into the Godwin Heights business and was trying to steal money when the owner arrived. Parker said a shot was fired, but the burlgar has not been located to determine if he was shot and injured or perhaps even died.