Local News

Northampton Sheriff’s Office Upgrades Weapons After Shootout

Posted October 8, 2007
Updated October 9, 2007

— Since August, the Northampton County Sheriff's Office has upgraded guns, vests, helmets and portable shields in the wake of an encounter with a gunman at a house in Jackson.

“They were instantly out-gunned at that point and found themselves pinned down,” Northampton County Sheriff Wardie Vincent said.

While responding to a domestic disturbance in January, two deputies came under fire from Robert Edwards and his semi-automatic rifle when they responded to a call about a domestic dispute.

Both deputies were armed only with pistols. One deputy was pinned behind his car, while the other deputy managed to return fire when Edwards came out onto a porch, killing him.

Vincent said his deputies should never have to face that scenario again.

“That was my first thought. We need to acquire some weapons to at least be able to return equal fire with that kind of fire,” Vincent said.

After the shootout, Vincent approached the county board of commissioners about getting the new equipment.

“Regarding public safety, I think, I can certainly take a closer look at the request,” board member Fannie P. Green said.

Commissioners recently approved Vincent's request. The sheriff's department has since spent $35,000 on new weaponry.

Vincent said several deputies still need specialized weapon training and that will happen over the next couple of weeks.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • JuanGrande v3.0 Oct 10, 2007

    Upgraded weapons are a good thing but the main priority is making sure the officers can shoot them. Many officers only make it out to the range once or twice a year. You can have all the weaponry in the world but if you can't put lead on target it is not doing anyone any good.

  • superman Oct 9, 2007

    You dont know a thing about how school administators are paid. Most of them are paid thru the state and are the state salary schedule. There is probably not a single administrator getting paid from county funds. The supt. and the asst supt probably get a small supplement from the county. I suggest u check on who gets what at the school. When I lived there, there was only one administrator who got paid from local money and that was the finance director-- since it is not a state funded position. There were 10 teachers who were paid out of county money and the supt and the asst supts. got a small supplement from the county. There were NO other people getting paid from county money. Check your facts.

  • 68_polara Oct 9, 2007

    Sorry old pirate, I totally misunderstood you. I thought you were being sarcastic in the first sentence.

  • OLD PIRATE Oct 9, 2007

    68_polara, Sorry I never intended to suggest any officer down first... As a N-county tax payer, I was only suggesting we have more officers. Most of these men and women are good hunters anyway so they don't need much training on such weapons.

  • FastPitch Mama Oct 9, 2007

    Northampton County definitely needs more deputies and more equipment. However the county commissioners don't see it that way. They had rather spend the county tax payers monies on large salaries for school administrator's that are obviously not effective in their positions and upper management that are equally non-effective. Kudos to Sheriff Vincent for obtaining the new equipment.

  • VivaceConBrio Oct 9, 2007

    $35k. . . that's it? these days, all agencies should be equipped with a SWAT team, armored cars, grenade launchers, and full use of a police helicopter. these streets are becoming more and more like the streets and ghettos of Afghanistan

  • shine Oct 9, 2007

    I was going to make a really sarcastic post - but after thinking about it - you know these guys and gals are outgunned most of the time, and certainly underpaid. They really have a thankless job for the services they provide. Not just Northampton County but everything that connects it.

  • batcave Oct 9, 2007

    good shot

  • 68_polara Oct 9, 2007

    That's an odd statement Old Pirate, better the perpetrator than them. Hopefully more law enforcement agencies don't wait until they find their officers in a similar situation before upgrading firearms and protection gear.

  • OLD PIRATE Oct 9, 2007

    They now can kill him quicker, right! Northampton needs more officers to patrol a 60 mile long county. Money could be better spent. $35000, how much ammo did they buy?