Witnesses describe shooting of man suspected of wounding off-duty Fayetteville officer

— Local, state and federal law enforcement officers spent Tuesday trying to piece together a bizarre attack on an off-duty Fayetteville police officer and on the Sampson County deputies who responded to that incident Monday night.

The off-duty officer was at his home in rural Sampson County home with his wife and children when someone knocked on the front door, Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said. When the officer, whose name hasn‘t been released, opened the door, he was shot.

He was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville for treatment, but his condition was unknown Tuesday.

A short time later, deputies confronted the suspected gunman sitting in a truck with a camper attached in the middle of the road near the intersection of Dunn and Minnie Hall roads near Roseboro. A tense standoff ensued in which deputies and State Highway Patrol troopers tried to persuade the man to get out of the truck.

“The individual stopped in the middle of the road. Multiple requests and demands were issued. Less-than-lethal force was used while he was parked there in the vehicle,” Thornton said.

Tear gas was fired into the truck, but the man still didn‘t come out.

“Then, all of a sudden, he just took off going through barricades and stuff,” Thornton said.

Authorities said the man tried to run over a group of deputies and troopers, so they opened fire on him.

“They shot from down here … all the way to that crossroads,” said Sandy Griffith, who lives nearby.

The man, whose name hasn‘t been released, was shot several times, and bullet holes riddles the windshield of his truck. His camper wound up in a ditch.

The man was taken to a hospital, but authorities wouldn‘t say which one or release any information about his condition.

Griffith was in her house with her mother and two friends when the shooting started.

“You could see they were shooting that way, and these were coming up from this side,” Griffith said. “They were shooting over here, but then, when they all took off that way, it‘s because he got further down the road.”

“[I thought] that a fellow was getting killed,” Teenie Griffith said.