Local News

Shootout Ended Long Chain of Events That Included Murder

Posted July 30, 2007 10:27 p.m. EDT
Updated July 31, 2007 10:41 a.m. EDT

— A weekend shootout outside a gas station in the small Halifax County town of Scotland Neck was the end of a long chain of events in which one man died and three others, including the suspect and an off-duty police chief, were hurt.

“(Witnesses) basically said that the suspect basically went from car-to-car, taking cover and firing at law enforcement as he ran from one vehicle to the other,” said Lt. Bobby Martin with the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office.

For about 10 minutes Saturday night, bullets flew before deputies shot Waddell Christopher Johnson twice in the leg.

Johnson was wanted in the shooting death of Mack Moody, who was shot multiple times at point-blank range, investigators said.

Within the next 30 minutes, Johnson was involved in three other shootouts, including one in which Hobgood Police Chief Joe Williams was struck in the thigh by a ricocheting bullet.

“I'm assuming he felt like he didn’t have a lot to lose,” Williams said. “He was a suspect in the murder.”

Williams, who lives in Scotland Neck, got a call that the suspect was in the area. He said Johnson then drove up to a barricade, showed a gun and started firing.

“The way he acted when he approached me – somebody else was going to get hurt,” Williams said.

Johnson was released Sunday from Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville and taken into custody. He is charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bond.

Two other men authorities believe were involved in the shooting have also arrested.

Adam Dickens, charged with attempted first-degree murder, is being held under a $150,000 bond in the Halifax County Jail. He was arrested for firing shots at Moody.

Tony Shields, who authorities said was in the car with the Johnson and Dickens, could also be charged in connection with the case. He was taken into custody on a jaywalking charge, but authorities were still working to determine whether he fired any shots at Moody.

This is the second shooting incident in Scotland Neck in recent weeks. On July 8, a man was shot following a fight outside Joe's Day Café.

Police have not confirmed if the incidents are related.

Authorities said the initial dispute between Johnson and Moody was over a woman. But Moody’s family has denied that claim.