State News

SBI: Wilkes man twice shot at officers before he was killed

Posted June 25, 2015

James Monroe Barrett
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— A Jonesville man twice shot at law enforcement officers early Monday before an officer killed him, the State Bureau of Investigation said Thursday.

James Monroe Barrett, 60, 3659 Bethel Road, died in a shootout with law enforcement in some woods near Ronda.

Authorities say he shot Sgt. Steven Russell of the Wilkes County Sheriff's Office, who was responding to a domestic dispute call. Barrett also set a house on fire before fleeing into the woods.

About 90 minutes later, the SBI Special Response Team and Bomb Squad were helping deputies get three people, including a 12-year-old, out of a nearby residence when Barrett opened fire on them, the SBI said.

The SBI is investigating the officers involved in Barrett's death, as is standard procedure. They have been identified as Maj. Victor Karl Hall and Lt. Harold Harper Hartley with the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office and Nathaniel Phillip Wells, an officer with the Wilkesboro Police Department who is also a sworn officer with the sheriff’s office.

Russell was being treated at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

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