Local News

Late-Night Standoff Puts Town At Standstill

Posted May 26, 2004

— The town of Kenly came to a standstill overnight as a man held officers at bay for hours during a standoff in Johnston County.

Tuesday, the sheriff's office got a call about a man upset with a situation at home. They were told he had a gun and could be dangerous.

Three dozen officers, along with hostage negotiators, surrounded the parking lot of Patrick's Cafeteria on Highway 301.

Investigators say Terry Eheart had been upset about a family situation at home. He was armed and threatened to kill himself.

"He put the gun up at his chin, he was going to harm himself. We backed off and called hostage negotiators in," Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said.

Sheriff's deputies evacuated some families living nearby as a precaution.

Caleb Locklear saw some of the standoff from his living room window.

"He just seemed real distressed. He was talking about his wife and his kids," Locklear said.

After nearly four hours of negotiating, officers got the kind of ending they had hoped for.

"We were able to go in, take care of the situation, and end it in a peaceful manner. We are going to get the individual any kind of assistance that he needs," Bizzell said.

Eheart laid down the weapon and officials took him into custody without incident.

Eheart was taken to a mental health care facility for observation. Charges are pending.

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