RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. (WFMY) — One person is dead in a deputy-involved shooting on Joe Branson Road in rural Randolph County.
Around 11:45 Monday night, a deputy saw a farm tractor driving in the center of the Joe Branson Road near N.C. 22/42 and believed it to be stolen.
The deputy tried to pull over the driver, who was driving erratically without headlights on, authorities said. The driver of the nearly 10,000-pound vehicle wouldn’t stop, driving through a field and later ramming the patrol car three times, causing significant damage, according to officials.
The deputy used his service weapon to shoot the driver, who was pronounced dead at the scene, the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office said.
Randolph County Sheriff Greg Seabolt said he believes the deputy acted accordingly. The deputy, who was not injured, will be put on administrative leave while the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation look into the case.
Seabolt said the shooting happened in an area where they’re concentrating on increasing patrol because of larcenies, theft and drug use. This is the third deputy-involved shooting of the summer for Randolph County. The driver, who has not been identified, is believed to be from the area.
“It is sad that someone lost their life stealing a piece of equipment,” Seabolt said. “What concerns me is a lack of respect for the law enforcement community.”
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