CLINTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Community members have pitched in thousands of dollars to support Sampson County Deputy Caitlin Emanuel. She was shot in the line of duty on Saturday morning while responding to a call about a stolen car.
“I don’t know her, I’ve never met her, but that has no bearing, this lady was doing her job and got shot,” Steve Boyette, a community member, said.
He lives in Sampson County but he’s never actually met Emanuel. But that hasn’t stopped him and hundreds of others from showing support for the injured officer.
Boyette heard the entire ordeal over the police scanners.
“I had the scanners on in the background like I always do, and I heard this female frantic voice, understandably, it sounded desperate, calling for help,” Boyette said.
A number of fundraisers have been set up to benefit her, with one GoFundMe nearing its goal of $15,000. One local hairstylist is offering $10 blue-colored hair highlights, with all of the proceeds benefiting Emanuel. While the community focuses on her recovery, Boyette says he’s also showing support for the entire Sheriff’s Office.
“I’ve never been so proud of the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office before,” Boyette said. “They were calm, low-keyed, the professionalism just oozed through the scanner.”
Sheriff Jimmy Thornton wrote on Facebook that he was also thankful for the outpouring of support for Emanuel and the Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect involved in the altercation has been identified as Michael Walthall. He was arrested on Saturday and now faces a number of charges.