Local News

Agents' Actions Questioned As SBI Shooting Investigation Continues

Posted February 11, 2004

— A man shot by a State Bureau of Investigation agent is fighting for his life. The man's girlfriend said the agent never identified himself.

The shooting happened Tuesday morning near the Robeson County town of Maxton. The 21-year-old victim's name is Sammy Bailey Jr. His girlfriend, Jessica Jacobs, said he has lost a lung and a lot of blood.

She is hoping he does not lose his life. At last report, he was in critical condition at Scotland Memorial Hospital.

Bailey and Jacobs had plans to get married. The plans were violently interrupted after -- according to Jacobs -- two men banged on her door around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. She said they demanded to speak with her but never identified who they were.

As it turned out, the two men were an SBI agent and an agent from the Internal Revenue Service.

"If they had identified themselves, I'm sure Jessica would have cooperated," said her father, Conrad Jacobs. "But because they didn't show who they were, it made matters much worse."

Jacobs said she was alone and scared and called Bailey. He came over carrying a gun.

The men reportedly had left by the time Bailey arrived at Jacobs' home. But they came back, and this time Bailey answered the door after they knocked.

According to the SBI, Bailey brandished a gun and an "altercation" ensued. That is when SBI agent Donovan Deaver shot Bailey two times.

"I was so hurt," said Carrie Locklear, Jacobs' grandmother. "No one deserves this. He (Bailey) was a good person."

Jacobs' family is outraged, saying the SBI treated her like a criminal.

"She didn't get any water," Locklear said. "She wasn't dressed. They put a blanket on her body, but it just wasn't right."

The SBI said the reason Deaver and the IRS agent were at Jacobs' home was because they needed some information related to an investigation.

According to Special Agent in Charge Erik Hooks, head of SBI Professional Standards, Deaver was conducting a joint criminal investigation with the IRS's Criminal Investigation Division.

Information attributed to Hooks was included in a statement released Wednesday.

"Deaver and an IRS special agent were confronted by Sammy Joe Bailey, Jr., who was in possession of an assault rifle," the release said. "The confrontation resulted in Special Agent Deaver firing his service weapon at Bailey, striking Bailey once in the upper left chest. Neither Special Agent Deaver nor the IRS Special Agent were injured in the incident.

"Pursuant to SBI policy, Special Agent Deaver will be temporarily assigned to administrative duty pending the outcome of an investigation into the use of force. That investigation will be conducted by the SBI's Professional Standards Section. Upon completion, the investigative report will be turned over to District Attorney Johnson Britt for review."

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