Man suspected of firing at officers during traffic stop dead after standoff in NC

North Carolina news

Kentrey Marquis Witherspoon. (Courtesy of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office via WBTV)

CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) – A man accused of firing shots at officers during a traffic stop in downtown Hudson Thursday morning was killed during a standoff with U.S. Marshals.

Officials say they were conducting a traffic stop when a person, later identified as 28-year-old Kentrey Marquis Witherspoon, got out of the suspect vehicle, fired a gun, and ran off. The officers involved were not injured, but a patrol car was struck during the shooting.

A manhunt then got underway as authorities searched for Witherspoon. Schools in the area were placed on a soft lockdown and roads were closed as a helicopter aided in the search.

Officials say Witherspoon was spotted a short time later on Shasta Drive, in the Joyceton Community of Lenoir, and again fired at officers as he ran into the Kincaid Plant 6 on SW. Norwood Street.

Employees at the plant were safely evacuated under cover of law enforcement and a lengthy period of negotiations with Witherspoon began. According to the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, those negotiations ultimately failed and Witherspoon “was engaged by the U.S. Marshals.”

Just before 3:30 p.m., officials said that Witherspoon had been pronounced deceased. Officials have not said exactly how he was killed.

Anyone with further information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 758-8300, or the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office at 759-1526.

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