Man, woman seriously injured after suspect opens fire at NC Smithfield Foods plant

North Carolina news

TAR HEEL, N.C. (WNCN) – A man and a woman were seriously injured after a man opened fire at Smithfield Foods in Bladen County on Thursday morning.

According to a news release, the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office received a call about an active shooter situation at Smithfield Foods in Tar Heel on Thursday around 12:15 a.m.

Law enforcement officers responded to the scene and located two people that had been shot in the administrative building. Authorities identified the suspect as Jaquante Hakeem Williams, 20, of St. Pauls, who initially fled the scene.

A person familiar with the suspect was able to make contact with Williams, who surrendered overnight to Bladen County deputies without incident.

The two victims were flown by life flight helicopters to Chapel Hill and New Hanover Regional Medical Center for treatment of their injuries.

Williams was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder and is being held in the Bladen County Jail under no bond.

Authorities said the male victim had previously been involved in an altercation with Williams. The female victim was an innocent bystander.

Smithfield Foods was evacuated for a short period of time until Williams was apprehended. Employees were allowed to return to work after the suspect was captured.

“We were just very fortunate to apprehend the suspect as soon as we did and that no other persons were injured,” said Bladen County Sheriff James McVicker. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families and we wish them a speedy recovery.”

Williams was a maintenance contractor and not an employee, the sheriff’s office said.

An executive president for Smithfield Foods released a statement on the company’s behalf that reads in part:

We are shocked and saddened by the senseless shooting that took place at our Tar Heel, North Carolina, processing facility overnight. Our thoughts and prayers are with our two Smithfield Family members who suffered serious injuries and were taken by life flight to hospitals, their families and loved ones.”

Keira Lombardo

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