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Sampson County deputy shoots, kills robbery suspect

A convenience store robbery and chase late Sunday ended with the suspect being shot and killed in Sampson County, authorities said.

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SALEMBURG, N.C. — A convenience store robbery and chase late Sunday ended with the suspect being shot and killed by a Sampson County deputy, Assistant County Manager Susan Holder said.

Deputies were called shortly before midnight to a Han-Dee Hugo's on North Ingold Avenue in Garland, where clerks reported that a man had tried to hold up the store and fired shots, Holder said.

A short while later, Sgt. Edward Vann and Deputy Louis M. High Jr. spotted the white Chevy van linked to that robbery and chased it through Roseboro and onto N.C. Highway 242 past Salemburg to near Reeda Branch Road.

The man got out of his vehicle and aimed a gun at the deputies, and High shot and killed him, Holder said.

The deputies were not hurt, nor was anyone at the convenience store.

Investigators and family members identified the dead man as Jason Lee Evans, 32, of Harrells.

Relatives said Evans, who would have turned 33 on Thursday, had suffered from mental illness and drug problems for years and lost his mother to cancer in November.

"He's a had a lot of mental (issues and was) unstable in some ways and just couldn't seem to get it together," said his uncle, Rev. Tim Evans. "It's hard to get help for folks that have that problem. It's hard to discern what was what with him, (which is) really, really sad."

According to court records, Jason Evans had several drug- and driving-related convictions.

Tim Evans said his nephew had come to his Bladen County home Sunday night "to say his goodbyes," but no one had any idea what would ensue.

"I'd never thought he would do anything like this," Tim Evans said. "The things he said, (such as) probably wouldn't see some of them again. But no one could have imagined what he was talking about."

High has been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of a State Bureau of Investigation review of the shooting, which is standard procedure when a law enforcement officer discharges a weapon.


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