Deputies search for 3 men who shot at them from the woods
Posted June 15, 2020 2:07 p.m. EDT
Updated June 15, 2020 7:20 p.m. EDT
Zebulon, N.C. — Residents of the Woods Plantation neighborhood say it is not uncommon to hear gunshots coming from the nearby treeline. One person has had a bullet come through their home. Another has had a bullet graze their siding. They think people are doing target practice in the nearby woods.
On Sunday, the shots that rang out sent some residents ducking for cover and scrambling to protect children playing outside. Videos taken by neighbors reveal how loud and close the gunshots on Sunday night sounded.
Neighbors spoke anonymously to WRAL News, afraid of retaliation.
"You shouldn't be shooting near a neighborhood like that. It's too close, it's way too close," said one neighbor.
Another neighbor described children crying in terror as they scrambled for cover.
"When the sheriff told everybody to get inside, I ran inside. I locked all the doors, sliding glass doors and cut off the lights. My little girl was crying," they said.
Gunmen open fire on deputies
When the first Wake County deputy arrived to investigate around 8 p.m., neighbors said he went into the woods with a long gun to confront the gunmen.
A few minutes later he came running back out, yelling at everyone to take cover.
Several more deputies arrived, and, they said, the gunmen began shooting at them from the dark woods. The deputies did not return fire, saying the woods were too dark for good visibility.
Sheriff Gerald Baker, who came out to the scene himself, said he was proud of the restrain his deputies showed by not returning fire.
"I commend those officers. A lot of questions about de-escalation, I think they did a great job showing great restraint with rounds being fired over them from the darkness of night in the woodline there," he said.
However, Baker also said that neighborhood families and children should not have to be fearful in their own homes.
He said, "This is a problem. These folks have children in their homes."
Baker said people have rights to firearms, but they need to use them within the law. "This has to be a safe situation," he said.
On Monday morning, Wake County deputies resumed the search for the three men who they say fired shots at them.
The sheriff's office has some leads and was interviewing people Monday afternoon about the incident.