State News

Suspect in Wilkes deputy shooting dies

Posted June 22, 2015

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— A man suspected of shooting a Wilkes County deputy early Monday has died following an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement, authorities said.

James Monroe Barrett, 60, 3659 Bethel Road in Jonesville, was shot during a shootout with law enforcement in pursuit of him.

Barrett shot a deputy responding to a domestic dispute at about 5:30 a.m., authorities said, and he is also believed to have then set a house on fire before fleeing into the woods.

Sgt. Steven Russell was airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem for treatment and was listed in good condition.

State Bureau of Investigation agents, Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Wilkesboro Police Department officers, State Highway Patrol troopers and state Wildlife Resources Commission officers pursued him into the woods and conducted the manhunt that resulted in Barrett’s arrest.

Wilkes County Fire Marshal Kevin Bounds said firefighters couldn't approach the house, where two other people were shot, during the search because of the possibility the gunman was still in the area. Those two wounded people were expected to survive.

Barrett's next-door neighbor, Candy Marion, said it wasn't unusual for him to get into disputes with people.

"He always flips us off when he drives by. He's just crazy," Marion said. "He starts arguments (with) my brother-in-law, yelling back and forth."

Kimberly Martinez, who lives about a quarter-mile away, said she's still in disbelief over the incident.

"We're used to hearing it happen places off from here, not at your doorstep. It's crazy," Martinez said.

The shooting remains under investigation.

14 Comments

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  • Tammy Rush Jun 22, 2015
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    Huh? The guy was 60.

  • Al Smith Jun 22, 2015
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    Bye bye dirtbag.

    This will, of course, not be noted by any national news outlet because it's just a white guy getting put down by the cops.

  • Mark Cline Jun 22, 2015
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    When will we have reasonable criminal control? When will Hollywood, TV and games makers use reasonable control of their products which glorify violence? When will parents parent, again, and take responsibility for the actions of their children, rather than blame anyone and anything, for their child committing these crimes?

    Peter, Paul and Mary claimed that the answer is blowin' in the wind. I believe the answer is in the Revelation of Jesus Christ to John.

  • Tammy Rush Jun 22, 2015
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    You tell us?

  • John Jones Jun 22, 2015
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    When will the rioting and looting start in Wilkes county?

  • Walter Smirth Jun 22, 2015
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    When will all this violence end? When will have some reasonable gun control?

  • Tammy Rush Jun 22, 2015
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    Agreed. But from what I can tell, he was shot while being pursued, arrested after he was caught, then died some time later. Not many details...

  • Tammy Rush Jun 22, 2015
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    I wasn't sure if that part was actually in the article when he posted his comment. These stories get updated all the time, so you never know...

  • Ben Sanders Jun 22, 2015
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    So when was he shot, and when did he die? Again, this article was obviously rushed as wral usually does, and leaves out lots of important chronological details.

  • Norman Lewis Jun 22, 2015
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    If you shoot a law enforcement officer, you can pretty much count on not making it to trial. The officers pursuing you are not likely to chance another one of their own going down, and I don't blame them one little bit.

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