Man Shot, Killed By Granville County Deputy During Confrontation
Posted January 5, 2004 8:06 a.m. EST
GRANVILLE COUNTY, N.C. — A Granville County deputy was on administrative leave Sunday night after shooting and killing a suspect while on duty.
Events leading up to the shooting started early Sunday morning. Neighbors heard gunshots sometime after 1:30 a.m. and called police.
According to his wife, a man identified as Rex Bair fired a gun several times inside their home before turning the gun toward his wife and 3-year-old child. The wife and child were able to escape out an open window and ran to a deputy's car.
Investigators said Bair later came outside and walked toward deputies carrying an assault rifle. Deputies ordered Bair to stop several times, but he refused. He fired at least one shot into the air and continued toward the deputies.
When Bair got to within 12 feet of deputies, a deputy fired two shots -- one hitting Bair and the other going through the window of a neighbor's house.
Bair was airlifted to Duke, where he later died.
Neighbor Gary Dail, whose home was hit, was not injured. He had been awake and watching the violent episode unfold, hearing gunshots well before the deputy's bullet struck his home.
"He fired a shot in the air (when he was outside)," Dail said of Bair. "The deputies kept shouting at him, telling him to stop, put the gun down, lie down. But he just kept walking."
Granville County District Attorney Sam Currin said a preliminary investigation found no wrongdoing or excessive force on the part of the deputy. The deputy's name has not been released.
"I would have to say the deputy did what he had to do to protect himself and protect the others around him," Currin said.
Investigators said Bair was on medication for back pain and also had been drinking at the time of the shooting. They said they did not know the cause of the violent outburst.