Local News

Man kills himself as police surround Fuquay-Varina house

Posted July 5, 2010 12:12 p.m. EDT
Updated July 5, 2010 6:27 p.m. EDT

— A police standoff ended Monday afternoon when officers entered a Fuquay-Varina home and found that a man wanted in a shooting had killed himself, authorities said.

The incident began shortly after 10 a.m., when William Columbus Martin, 40, arrived at a Fuquay-Varina fire station on East Vance Street seeking medical attention, authorities said.

Martin told authorities that Gregory Carver Higgs, 37, shot at him several times, hitting him once in the left foot, during an argument. The two men were fighting because Martin had ordered Higgs to leave his house, at 701 E. Maple Lane.

Investigators said Martin and Higgs are brothers-in-law.

Neighbor Daryl Park said he heard some popping noises Monday morning and initially thought someone was setting off fireworks.

"We heard someone screaming. That was the weird part," Park said, adding that he then saw someone run into the house across the street.

Police officers went to Martin's home, where they found that Higgs had barricaded himself inside, authorities said.

Members of the Wake County Sheriff's Office Special Response Team were deployed in the neighborhood, and deputies and Fuquay-Varina police surrounded the house.

Authorities heard a single gunshot from the house at about 10:45 a.m., but six Special Response Team members waited until about 12:30 p.m. before trying to enter the house.

Once inside, they found Higgs dead in the crawl space under the house, authorities said. He had shot himself, they said.

"It's what you see on TV," said Jeff Smith, who lives nearby. "As I was explaining to my son, this is real. This really happens. This is why we're out here to protect our children, and it's for this reason. Stuff like this does happen."

Martin was taken to WakeMed in Raleigh for treatment.