Man killed in officer-involved shooting pointed gun at Sampson County deputy, officials say

Local News

SALEMBURG, N.C. (WNCN) – The man shot and killed by a Sampson County deputy Sunday afternoon had been on the run for hours and pointed a gun at the deputy, a news release said Monday.

Craig Locklear, 49, was shot and killed during a traffic stop shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday in Salemburg, which is a small town in Sampson County. Locklear pointed a gun at the deputy who shot him, the sheriff’s office said.

Just before 4 a.m. Sunday, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office requested help from the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office with a vehicle pursuit entering Sampson County on N.C. 24. Cumberland County deputies were pursuing a white van and believed the driver was impaired, the news release said.

The license plate on the van indicated it belonged to Locklear, who was wanted in Cumberland County on domestic charges including assault on a female, communicating threats, and cyberstalking.

His criminal history also included assault on an officer, as well as weapons and drugs charges.

Deputies from both departments continued the pursuit east on N.C. 24 toward Clinton. The chase then went west on Old N.C. 24 toward Bonnetsville, and authorities were able to use stop sticks to halt the vehicle near Peavine Road, the release said.

Locklear fled on foot and was “visibly in possession of a handgun” as he went into a wooded area, the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies, K-9s, and drones all searched for several hours, but they were unable to find Locklear. The search was later suspended, the release said.

Sampson County deputies continued to patrol the Bonnetsville and Laural Lake Campground areas. Around 1:09 p.m. Sunday, a deputy saw a car they “knew may be associated with the suspect.” The deputy stopped the vehicle near Lakewood School and Laurel Lake roads.

As the deputy approached the stopped pickup truck, Locklear, who was hiding in the bed of the truck, raised up and pointed a .357 revolver at the deputy, who subsequently shot Locklear, the release said.

Life-saving measures were immediately started, but Locklear died at the scene.

The name of the deputy is being withheld at this time. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is leading the case.

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