Local News

Wake deputy released from hospital after shooting

Posted November 18, 2011

— 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.

Wake deputy released from hospital after shooting Wake deputy released from hospital after shooting

"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."


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  • SouthernGirlJD Nov 21, 2011

    Good job to the officers! Its a blessing they survived, as well as the wife!

  • boneymaroney13 Nov 18, 2011

    Congrats to the Deputy. It's a job well done each day you get to go home.

  • aravafj Nov 18, 2011

    @tsquaring - someone did die. The suspect.

  • PoBoy Nov 18, 2011

    @ ASU - Great point! Blessed be the peacekeepers. So glad that the deputy is doing alright. I've been in the same situations where you didn't know who was going to pull a gun or knife on you or when. Domestics are, by far, the most harrowing calls a cop can go on.

  • tsquaring Nov 18, 2011

    Glad no one was killed. In the future the media might want to call them bullet resistant vests.

  • Nancy Nov 18, 2011

    Back in the late 70's I did a ride along with a Charlotte police officer - just to see what it's like from their side of the windshield.

    I would strongly suggest, if this is still possible, people ought to do that.

    I'll never forget when I asked the officer what scared him the most, it was "domestic situations" . Clearly it still is a highly dangerous situation.

    I'm praying for this officer for a complete recovery, physical and mental fallout from this.

  • ASU Nov 18, 2011

    Glad the Deputy is OK. Whats sad about this is if the deputy had did something wrong there would be 300 comments. The deputy takes a bullet and there are 11 comments. Very sad they the public doesn't appreciate first responders.

  • excalibur810 Nov 18, 2011

    my son-in-law is a police officer in a nearby town...thank god, he wears his vest...i do worry about him, and i know that my daughter worries about him...especially when something like this happens. he tells me of the drug dealers, and gang members that he has arrested...he tells me of the guns, and knives that could have been used against him...he tells me the stories that he probally doesnt tell his wife...because he doesnt want her to worry...that's alright, i worry enough for the both of them...i wonder how many of us tell them (the police, fire, emt's and even our military) how much we appreciate them, and thank them for their service...

  • jrfergerson Nov 18, 2011

    you hit the nail on the head Relic - We don't thank our law enforcement, EMS and firemen enough for all they do for the citizens they serve and protect.

  • Relic Nov 18, 2011

    A cop takes a bullet possibly meant for another and fires back, possibly saving two lives plus his own. His annual salary is probably less than 45K per year. An NBA Basketball player is sitting at home comfy on his bankroll while he's on "strike" because players feel they don't get enough money and benefits. Sure, makes sense.