OXFORD, N.C. (WNCN) — A Franklin County Sheriff’s Office K-9 was shot and died after a man who stole a vehicle in Granville County Saturday got into a shootout with deputies while hiding under a house Sunday, authorities said.
The man was eventually caught and is being held on a $1 million bond while facing several charges, according to a news release from the Granville County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident began around 3:15 p.m. Saturday when a man stole a car at gunpoint in the Antioch Road area southeast of Oxford, the news release said.
The stolen car and suspect were later spotted, and the car was recovered but the suspect ran from the scene, deputies said. Deputies searched the area, but the man was not found.
Then, Sunday morning, deputies were told about a suspicious fire in the Antioch Road and West Antioch Drive area southeast of Oxford.
When authorities investigated the fire they learned the armed robbery suspect was hiding in a crawl space under a home — and was possibly still armed, the news release said.
Extra deputies were called to the scene.
“As the Special Response Team was attempting to clear the crawl space of the residence, they received gunfire from a suspect hiding in the crawl space,” the news release said.
Franklin County deputies fired back and then retreated to a safe area, the news release said.
A crisis negotiator was called to the scene and spoke with the suspect under the house.
“During the incident, a Franklin County K-9 dog was struck by gunfire and died,” the news release said. “An assault-style rifle was recovered from underneath the residence.”
Franklin County Sheriff Kent Winstead told CBS 17 Sunday night that the name of the K-9 who died would be released Monday.
After a while, the robbery suspect crawled out and was taken into custody.
William Darius Eichelberger, 21, had minor injuries and was taken by EMS for treatment, the news release said. He was released from medical care a short time later.
Eichelberger was charged with:
- Assault on a law enforcement agency K-9 – felony
- Assault on law enforcement officers with a firearm – felony
- Breaking and/or entering – felony (2 counts)
- Breaking and entering a motor vehicle – felony
- Larceny after breaking and entering – felony
- Possession stolen firearm – felony
- Robbery with dangerous weapon – felony
- Possession of stolen goods/property – felony
- Larceny of motor vehicle – felony
No one else was injured in the shootout. The North Carolina SBI is investigating the incident.