Wake deputy released from hospital after shooting
Posted November 18, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — A Wake County sheriff's deputy was released from the hospital Friday after being shot while on duty Thursday night.
Deputy Jeff Martin was responding to a domestic disturbance report when Mark Brandon Zareski, 56, allegedly shot him outside his home on Gail Ridge Lane.
Martin, 26, was wearing a bulletproof vest, which saved his life, Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.
A neighbor called 911 after Zareski's wife, Diane Zareski, showed up at his home, bleeding profusely from the forehead, saying she had been beaten with a liquor bottle.
"She showed up banging on my door, blood dripping all down my front door on my front porch," Brian Buckner said. "I immediately brought her in, as a neighbor, and tried to give her first aid. Then, I found out – she said, 'My husband's beating me.'
Buckner said he was outside in his yard talking to Martin when he heard gunshots.
"He takes two shots at us. The officer goes down. More officers arrive, and it pretty much just (started a) mêlée from there," he said.
Authorities, he said, shouted for Zareski to put down his gun before a deputy fired back, injuring him.
"He made one statement. 'You're going to have to kill me to get rid of it,'" Buckner said. "It was kind of a surreal scene. It was something you see on the movies, but it was happening at 8 o'clock at my house on a Thursday night."
Neighbors said Mark Zareski was always quiet and pleasant but was not very social. They never heard yelling or saw any violence.
He was in critical condition at WakeMed Friday morning. Diane Zareski was also being treated at the hospital and was listed in good condition. The sheriff's office has not said whether any charges have been filed in the case.
This isn't the first time Martin's family has had to deal with something like this.
Five years ago, his father, Maj. Walt Martin, who is now retired, stopped to help a stranded driver and was seriously injured when a drunken driver hit him on the side of the road.
"You never know what you're going to run into," Harrison said. "When you come to one of these things, it can change from one to another just like this did."