Local News

Randolph County Deputy Killed, Another Injured In Shooting

Posted April 28, 2003

— A shooting in the Grays Chapel area of Randolph County has killed a sheriff's deputy and sent another to the hospital with a wound in his arm.

The incident happened around 2:30 Sunday afternoon at a home in the 3000 block of Oak Hollow Trail. Residents in the community northeast of Asheboro said they were shocked that such an incident took place in what they called a very peaceful neighborhood.

According to the Randolph County Sheriff's Office, the deputies were responding to a domestic dispute when the shooting started.

The deputy who was killed with his own gun has been identified as 41-year-old Toney Summey. The other deputy, who was airlifted to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, was identified as 24-year-old Nathan Hollingsworth.

The alleged shooter, Alexander Polke, has been charged with murder. Randolph County authorities said he has a long criminal history, spanning several states.

Polke -- who shot the deputies after taking Summey's gun during a struggle -- is being held in the Chatham County Jail without bond. His arraignment is scheduled for Monday.

"I don't want him in my jail," said Randolph County sheriff Litchard Hurley, who said he thought it was best for Polke's safety to be away from emotional Randolph County deputies.

Summey and Hollingsworth had gone to Polke's home to serve him with warrants for assault on a female, communicating threats and other misdemeanors.

Authorities said Polke's wife, Tamara, called police Saturday night following a domestic dispute with her husband. She was taken to the Family Crisis Center, where she spent the night and took out warrants against her husband.

Lt. Johnny Hussey, another Randolph County deputy, met Summey and Hollingsworth at a convenience store on Sunday to decide how to serve the warrants, Hurley said. Hussey went on another call; Summey and Hollingsworth went with Tamara Polke to her home, the woman following the deputies in her car.

When the deputies knocked on the door of the residence, Alexander Polke did not answer. Tamara Polke handed over her key, and the deputies attempted to go into the house. A struggle started on the front porch. Alexander Polke, who had been sprayed with pepper spray, managed to get Summey's weapon and shot the deputies.

Hollingsworth, who returned fire, ran back to his patrol car and called for help. Hussey, who was nearby, was the first officer on the scene. He got his shotgun and persuaded Polke to surrender.

The unemployed Polke had been arrested several times in Georgia, Wyoming, California and North Carolina on a variety of charges -- including aggravated sodomy, kidnapping and theft -- dating back to 1984.

Hurley said if Polke had allowed himself to be taken to jail, he would have spent about 48 hours behind bars.

Summey, who joined the sheriff's office in July 1999, leaves behind a wife and two children.

Deputies placed strips of black tape across their badges Sunday night in honor of Summey. He is the first Randolph County sheriff's deputy killed in the line of duty since 1977, when Steven R. Graves died in a car wreck during a chase.

"It's tough when you hear about another officer being killed because officers are so close," Hurley said. "When it's one of your own, it's worse than you can imagine."

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