Local News

Lenoir deputy out of hospital

Posted April 10, 2009 4:08 p.m. EDT

— Lenoir County Deputy Ryan Dawson is out of the hospital two days after a shootout with a suspect that left a another lawman dead.

Dawson suffered a gunshot wound near his neck, authorities said.

Dawson and fellow Lenoir County Sheriff's Deputy Allen Pearson responded to a 911 call off Tick Bite Road, near Grifton late Wednesday, a neighbor said. When they approached a wooded area, Clarence Douglas Phillips, 43, began firing on them, a witness said.

Craven County sheriff's Capt. Joe Heckman said the deputies returned fire. Phillips and Pearson both died from gunshot wounds sustained during the shootout.

Craven County authorities have named Phillips as the suspect in the death of his live-in girlfriend, Cynthia Tillett Knighten, 49, in New Bern.

Lenoir investigators traced the car Phillips was driving to Knighten and discovered her body at her home.

The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting, which is routine in officer-involved shootings.