Man injured after exchanging gunfire with Zebulon officer

From staff reportsJune 25, 2013 

— A 22-year-old man was shot and injured Saturday in an exchange of gunfire with a Zebulon police officer.

Officer Travis Denny shot Derek Steven Smith in the chest after Smith shot at Denny with a .22-caliber rifle, according to Zebulon Police Chief Tim Hayworth.

Smith was taken to WakeMed following the incident at 908 Moss Road near Zebulon, according to the Wake County Sheriff’s Office. Smith is expected to recover, Hayworth said.

Smith’s grandparents – Willie Woods, 81, and his wife, Betty Sue Woods, 64 – were injured while trying to disarm Smith and also were taken to WakeMed. They reside at 908 Moss Road.

The sheriff’s office received a call about a disturbance at the residence about 6 a.m. Saturday and requested the assistance of the Zebulon Police Department because of a history of similar calls concerning that address.

Denny, 25, who has been with Zebulon police since 2009, arrived at the scene first, just as Smith was exiting the house with a gun in his hand.

“Instead of dropping the rifle, the suspect shouldered his weapon,” Hayworth said.

Smith then fired at Denny, and Denny returned fire, according to Hayworth and an eyewitness account reported by the sheriff’s office.

Zebulon police placed Denny on administrative duty in accordance with a department policy, Hayworth said. The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident, which is standard procedure with a shooting involving an officer.

A request for the arrest report was not immediately answered by the sheriff’s office. Smith is likely to be charged with assault with deadly weapon on a law enforcement officers, Hayworth said.

“(Smith) will also be charged with an additional assault for assaulting his grandparents,” Hayworth added.


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