Local News

Man pulls gun on Franklin County sheriff

Posted October 12, 2012 12:18 p.m. EDT

— Capt. E.H. Smith of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office found himself in a situation Saturday night no officer wants to be in — with a gun pointed at him.

Three deputies providing security for a private party at the National Guard Armory Saturday in Louisburg called for help, and Smith responded. The deputies said they noticed some men flashing gang symbols at one another and escorted them out from the party. After that, Smith said things began to get out of hand.

"We were concerned about retaliation, about people that did leave being able to go home and come back," Sheriff Jerry Jones said.

When he arrived, Smith heard someone scream about a gun. That person, 33-year-old Gregory Vidal, pointed his gun at Smith.

"I didn't know whether I was going to be shot or what was going to happen," Smith said. "I didn't know what to think."

Smith said he drew his weapon, but Vidal was surrounded by women and children.

"He made a decision immediately with people coming out of the armory between him and the suspect that he could not take action with his weapon," Jones said.

Instead of firing at Smith, Vidal ran away. Smith said Vidal later fired away from the crowd at several deputies, one of whom returned fire. Vidal then surrendered. 

Vidal was wanted for a 2010 stabbing in Wilson County and was using more than one name, Smith said. Vidal remains in the Franklin County Jail, and Smith said immigration officials are looking into his status.