Sheriff of Edgecombe says stabbing suspect had mental health issues, MPs praise :: WRAL.com

– The man who was shot and killed Thursday after stabbing an Edgecombe County MP suffered from mental health issues, Sheriff Cleveland Atkinson said.

The sheriff became emotional at a press conference on Friday morning, saying: “It is always difficult when a life is taken” and “because of it all our hearts are hurt”.

According to Atkinson, MPs responded to a house in the 4300 block of McNair Road around 2 p.m. after a woman called to report that she was being chased by a man with a knife. Atkinson said the 32-year-old suspect “rushed in with the knife” as soon as the appellant opened the door for MPs.

“And I’m telling you guys watching this on video, my deputy was stabbed in three seconds,” Atkinson said. “My assistants did not have time to react.

Atkinson said three MPs responded to the scene. After a deputy was stabbed twice, the suspect “ran to the second deputy” with a “large tactical-style pocket knife,” the sheriff said. At that time, the suspect was shot dead by deputies.

Atkinson called his injured deputy a hero, saying: “He protected the appellant despite being stabbed. He remained calm, always providing professional instructions to the other two MPs at the scene. Yes, he did. is a hero. Not me. Him. “

The injured assistant was treated and released from Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

Atkinson asked for prayers not only for his office, but for the community and the suspect’s family. He said the suspect was suffering from mental health issues and explained that his assistants had responded to this house several times before. He also spoke about the importance of body cameras and mental health awareness.

“We need help,” he said, saying he is dealing with mental health appeals more than ever. “[Mental illness] is in my family, it is in yours. I ask our citizens to support my office and my community during this difficult time. “

On Thursday after 2:10 p.m., Sky 5 video showed authorities surrounding the one-story house, which was surrounded by crime scene tape. McNair Road was closed in the evening.

“I feel bad for them all,” said Gay Lucas, a neighbor. “Just scared for the deputy and his family and the suspect’s family.”

The State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate the incident, and the three deputies are on administrative leave, which is standard protocol for an officer or deputy shooting.

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Larry Struck

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