Man who fired at police has history of mental issues, brother says
Posted June 23, 2013
Zebulon, N.C. — A man injured when a Zebulon police officer shot him has a history of mental issues, his brother said Sunday evening.
Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said Derek Steven Smith, 22, fired at the officer around 6 a.m. Saturday as the officer, responding to a disturbance call, approached Smith's home on Moss Road in Zebulon.
The officer returned fire, hitting Smith and leaving him in critical condition at a local hospital.
"That's not the kind of man my brother is," Chris Smith said. "My brother, in his right mind, would have never done something like that."
Chris Smith said he believes his brother has bi-polar disorder and that the family has tried for years to get him proper medical attention but that hospital stays have been short and help from doctors limited.
Investigators said Smith, who lives with his grandparents, was home Saturday morning trying to retrieve a firearm and that his grandparents were trying to stop him when the police officer arrived.
Derek Smith walked outside with a gun and shot at the officer.
"I want (the officer) to know that nobody is mad at him," Chris Smith said. "Everybody understands."
Chris Smith said his brother is now breathing on his own but far from making a full recovery.
The brothers' grandparents, Willie Woods, 81, and Betty Sue Woods, 64, were also taken to WakeMed following the shooting with minor injuries, the sheriff's office said.
Investigators said they have received multiple disturbance calls at the home.
Harrison said the State Bureau of Investigation is now in charge of the investigation, which is standard in officer-involved shootings.
The officer has been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation.