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Deputy involved in Bladen County traffic stop shooting returns to full duty

Posted February 26

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— A Bladen County sheriff's deputy involved in traffic stop shooting that injured an Elizabethtown man returned to full duty Friday after an internal review by the sheriff's department, Sheriff James A. McVicker said.

According to authorities, Deputy D.A. Schmale Jr. stopped a vehicle driven by Dennis Marshall on Feb. 13. After learning Marshall had an oustanding warrant for his arrest, Schmale attempted to arrest him. Marshall resisted, retrieved a handgun from his vehicle and began firing at Schmale and Elizabethtown Police Officer Blake Bryan, who had arrived on scene to assist Schmale, McVicker said.

Both officers returned fire and injured Marshall, who was transported to Bladen County Hospital, He was later moved to New Hanover Memorial Hospital in Wilmington, and McVicker said Friday that Marshall is now in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Schmale and Bryan were not injured in the incident.

“Based on the findings, I believe my deputy acted within office guidelines, and I will be returning him to full duty on Feb. 26," McVicker said in a statement. "Because there is an ongoing investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation concerning the two officers involvement in the shooting and an ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by the Elizabethtown Police Department, I will not be making any further statements at this time. The investigation by the SBI was initiated at the request of District Attorney Jon David. This is a standard procedure to have an outside agency do an independent investigation to insure transparency. I have advised Mr. David of my decision.”


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