Local News

Smithfield man called 911 reporting murder-suicide

Posted April 8, 2013
Updated April 11, 2013

— A Smithfield man whom authorities believe shot and killed another man last week appears to have called 911 before turning the gun on himself.

"There's been a murder-suicide," the caller, identified by authorities as William Craig Baker, says in a two-minute 911 recording released Monday by the Johnston County Sheriff's Office.

Baker, 46, is on the line for about 13 seconds before the line goes quiet. The dispatcher spends the remainder of the call trying to get him to respond.

"Hello? Hello? Sir?" the operator says. "Try calling him back," another dispatcher says in the background.

Authorities arrived at 120 Hillcrest Road a short time later, where they found Lucas Lorenzo Benton, 32, of Four Oaks, dead in the front yard.

Baker was found lying on a homemade trailer in the back of the property with a weapon beside him. He died later at a local hospital.

A timeline for the shootings is unclear.

Authorities have not offered a motive for the shootings and have only said the men were acquaintances.

Baker's family members on Friday declined to comment on how the two men knew each other, saying only that Baker was married, acted in local theater and would be "sorely missed."


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