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Statewide manhunt underway for suspect in deputy's slaying

Posted September 21, 2008

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— A statewide manhunt was underway Sunday for a person police believe shot two Caldwell County sheriff's deputies, killing one Friday night.

Authorities asked law enforcement across the state to be on the lookout for Larry Wayne Brucke, 32, who also goes by the name Skip Brinkley. He should be considered armed and dangerous.

More than 200 officers were searching the area around Lenior, about 75 miles northwest of Charlotte. They used Oak Hill Elementary School as a staging area to coordinate efforts by Caldwell, Catawba and Burke county law enforcement.

The State Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation's Charlotte office were also assisting in the search.

Brucke's direction and mode of travel were unknown. He might be armed with a 223 long rifle and .40- or .45-caliber handgun, according to Caldwell authorities.

Wake County authorities were among those asked to be on the alert for Brucke, but said there was nothing to indicate that he was in the region.

Investigators said that Brucke opened fire on deputies responding to a 911 hang-up call from a home on Fox Winkler Road in Lenoir around 9:40 p.m. Friday. Brucke shot the first deputy to arrive, Adam William Klutz, 24, and the second, Lt. Chris Martin, as they exited their patrol cars.

Martin was shot multiple times but was protected by his bulletproof vest, saving his life, investigators said. Martin returned fire and called for back-up. Brucke ran into a wooded area surrounding the house and eluded capture Friday.

Klutz was taken to Caldwell Memorial Hospital but died of his injuries.

Brucke’s fiance and her two children were at the home at the time of the shooting. Officers escorted them off the property.

Brucke was described as a white man, with a medium build, standing 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds. He has blond hair, green eyes and a goatee. He was last seen wearing a gray Carhart T-shirt, a Farm Bureau hat and brown work pants.

Brucke was an Army Ranger who served in Iraq from 2004 to 2006. Officials said they believe he worked as a police officer in South Carolina but did not specify where.

Anyone who sees Brucke was urged to call 911.

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