Local News

Suspect sought in Caldwell deputy's shooting death

Posted September 21, 2008 5:59 p.m. EDT
Updated September 22, 2008 12:04 p.m. EDT

— Authorities have changed the focus of their investigation into the fatal shooting of a Caldwell County sheriff's deputy, moving from a manhunt to a search for leads.

More than 200 officers were searching around Lenoir, and law enforcement statewide had been asked to be on the lookout for Larry Wayne Brucke, 32, who also goes by the name Skip Brinkley.

Brucke is a suspect in the slaying of Deputy Adam W. Klutz, 24, and shooting of Lt. Chris Martin, both of the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office, on Friday night.

Investigators on Monday began shifting their focus to looking for clues in connection with the shooting, said Det. B.J. Fore, public-information officer for the sheriff's department. Sunday, they dismantled a search command post they had set up at Oak Hill Elementary School.

Raleigh police received a tip that Brucke was driving along Wake Forest Road, and a Cary police officer spotted a vehicle matching that description Sunday evening. However, officers determined that the lead was false, and Brucke was not in the vehicle when police stopped it along Kildaire Farm Road in the Lochmere area.

Officials say Klutz was responding to a 911 hang-up call at a Lenoir home when Brucke allegedly shot him in a spot not protected by his bulletproof vest. Three bullets struck Martin's vest, and he suffered minor injuries.

Brucke was described as a white man, with a medium build, standing 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds. He has blond hair, green eyes and a goatee. He was last seen wearing a gray Carhartt T-shirt, a Farm Bureau hat and brown work pants.

Brucke was an Army Ranger who served in Iraq from 2004 to 2006. Officials said they believe he worked as a police officer in South Carolina, but did not specify where.

Anyone who sees Brucke was urged to call 911. He should be considered armed and dangerous.