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Man pulls gun on Franklin County sheriff

Posted October 12, 2012

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— Capt. E.H. Smith of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office found himself in a situation Saturday night no officer wants to be in — with a gun pointed at him.

Three deputies providing security for a private party at the National Guard Armory Saturday in Louisburg called for help, and Smith responded. The deputies said they noticed some men flashing gang symbols at one another and escorted them out from the party. After that, Smith said things began to get out of hand.

"We were concerned about retaliation, about people that did leave being able to go home and come back," Sheriff Jerry Jones said.

When he arrived, Smith heard someone scream about a gun. That person, 33-year-old Gregory Vidal, pointed his gun at Smith.

"I didn't know whether I was going to be shot or what was going to happen," Smith said. "I didn't know what to think."

Smith said he drew his weapon, but Vidal was surrounded by women and children.

"He made a decision immediately with people coming out of the armory between him and the suspect that he could not take action with his weapon," Jones said.

Instead of firing at Smith, Vidal ran away. Smith said Vidal later fired away from the crowd at several deputies, one of whom returned fire. Vidal then surrendered. 

Vidal was wanted for a 2010 stabbing in Wilson County and was using more than one name, Smith said. Vidal remains in the Franklin County Jail, and Smith said immigration officials are looking into his status.


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  • vwg Oct 16, 2012

    The headline is incorrect. The Franklin County sheriff is Jerry Jones, not Smith. Smith is a deputy in the sheriff's department.
    Many times I shake my head in amazement at the errors that are in the WRAL online postings. And, through these online comments, many times I have offered to come to work for WRAL in order to ensure that the online postings are both grammatically correct and factually correct. Too bad you still have people who create these stories and their titles and these people continue to make gross errors. Also, the employees who type the crawlers need to have their work checked. There is hardly a day that goes by that there is not an error or two in the crawlers.

  • Sherlock Oct 15, 2012

    Good move by the Capt. Thats being a great COP.

  • wakewiseone Oct 12, 2012

    i hope the sheriff pulled his weapon and put the perp down. no excuse for anyone to assault a leo by pointing a weapon at one of them.

  • Rebelyell55 Oct 12, 2012

    The head line confused me, I thought it was the sheriff, but it looks like it was one of his deputy. Maybe they'll keep the guy locked up for a while.

  • piene2 Oct 12, 2012

    ". After all, dressing up for Halloween and going out on the street is illegal under the law in North Carolina: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_14/GS_14-12.8.html"

    Why should it not be enforced. After all the fools try to ban Halloween every time it occurs on a Sunday, do they not? Of course most of the people in our sub development make it clear that the kids will be turned away on the alternate day and told to return on Sunday for triple treats.

  • thepeopleschamp Oct 12, 2012

    Where are all the comments today about LEO's being so trigger happy? This Deputy risked being killed himslef so no harm would come to total strangers. I'm glad they were able to get this guy in custody until he is released back onto society again in the near future.

  • awood2 Oct 12, 2012

    thank goodness no one was hurt!

  • Alexia.1 Oct 12, 2012

    @celtiquedreamz, @Grand Union, it just would not surprise me if NC had a dumb law that made nicknames or aliases illegal. After all, dressing up for Halloween and going out on the street is illegal under the law in North Carolina: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_14/GS_14-12.8.html

    Yeah, that wasn't the intent of the law, but ... you could be arrested on that charge, anyway.

  • saturn5 Oct 12, 2012

    Pulling a gun on a Deputy at a party at the National Guard Armory? He chose ... poorly.

  • DC_Merlin Oct 12, 2012

    Looking at the Franklin County Sheriff Dept Facebook page, all of this happened at a birthday party for a 15 year old. Just sad...