Local News

Deputy shot, suspect killed at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville

Posted November 6, 2019 8:54 a.m. EST
Updated December 29, 2019 9:26 p.m. EST

— A man who fought with a Cumberland County sheriff's deputy was shot and killed Wednesday morning inside Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville during an incident that prompted a lockdown at one of the largest hospitals in the county and resulted in mayhem as reports of an active shooter began circulating.

The deputy, who has not yet been publicly identified, had taken a suspect who was in custody to the hospital after he complained of not feeling well.

Around 8:20 a.m., the deputy and the suspect, whom WRAL News has learned was Treva Smutherman, 31, got into a "scuffle" and Smutherman tried to grab the officer's gun.

Someone inside the facility captured video of the incident and posted it to Facebook although it was taken down later.

Smutherman was able to to shoot the deputy, who received a wound that is believed to be non-life-threatening, said Sheriff Ennis Wright.

The shooting raised questions about protocol of deputies accompanying suspects.

"There are different situations, whether you have an involuntary commitment process, which involves a mental commitment," Fayetteville police Sgt. Jeremy Glass said Thursday. "Our policy is two officers to transport, and once they're here (at the hospital), the policy is if you need the officer to stay, two can stay."

A Fayetteville police officer who was already at the hospital while investigating a different case was able to confront the man, and fatally shot Smutherman in the process, authorities said.

Smutherman died at the hospital.

Gunfire inside the medical facility resulted in very tense moments as workers scrambled to protect patients while also trying to remain safe themselves.

No hospital staff or medical personnel were injured during the incident, said Daniel Weatherly, chief operations officer of Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, during a news conference outside the hospital shortly after the incident.

Wright said the suspect was picked up because he was the subject of active warrants related to a home invasion. He was taken into custody Tuesday night, authorities said.

Cumberland deputies were called to a home by a woman who said she had dated Smutherman but had recently broke off the relationship.

She said she was concerned about her safety.

"I basically put my bed against the door so if he tried to hurt me, I would not have to worry about him trying to get me," she said.

While in custody, Smutherman complained of feeling ill, which is why he was taken to Cape Fear Valley for treatment.

The hospital and surrounding area was safe, authorities said around 9 a.m., and a lockdown was lifted.

The State Bureau of Investigation will examine the shooting of the suspect, per protocol, and the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office will conduct an internal investigation, authorities said.

The hospital said no visitors would be allowed inside without a visitor's name and a room number.

Police asked people to avoid the area around the hospital.

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