Local News

Smithfield Man Dies After Shootout With Wake Deputies

Posted June 23, 2000

— A Smithfield man is dead and two Wake County sheriff's deputies have been re-assigned to other duties after a shootout early Saturday morning.

According to the Wake County Sheriff's Office, a female driver called in a complaint about 1:30 a.m. Saturday. She said a man standing next to a pickup truck was waving a gun at passing motorists on White Oak Road near Highway 70 in Garner.

When officers arrived on the scene, they asked John Durwood Barbour, 55, to put down his weapon. According to the sheriff's department, Barbour aimed the pistol at the deputies.

Gunshots were exchanged between the suspect and the two deputies. According to Sheriff John Baker, it is still unclear who fired first, but at least one shot fired by Barbour struck one of the deputies' patrol cars.

The officers, Captain P.J. Bissette and Sergeant R.D. Martin, have been assigned administrative duties pending the completion of an internal investigation.

Bissette is a 26-year veteran of the force. Martin has been on the force for 17 years.

Barbour's relatives say they have questions about the incident, and they wonder whether he had simply been trying to flag down help after his truck got a flat tire.

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