A State Highway Patrol sergeant shot and killed a man who was “hostile” and displayed a handgun while the sergeant and two Robeson County sheriff's deputies were taking part in a search and rescue effort Monday night, the highway patrol said in a statement issued Tuesday.
The man who died had not been identified, the statement said. The Highway Patrol identified the trooper as Sgt. J. F. Hinson, a 13-year veteran assigned to the Troop B District 7 Lumberton State Highway Patrol office in Robeson County.
Troopers said the search was happening on a flooded portion of West Fifth Street when Hinson and the deputies “encountered” a man shortly after 8 p.m.
He “became hostile” toward the officers and “displayed” a handgun, the statement said. It did not say if he pointed it at the officers.
Gov. Pat McCrory first disclosed the incident during a morning briefing on the ongoing work to cope with the effects of Hurricane Matthew.
McCrory said the shooting happened in “very unusual circumstances” and indicated a National Guard Humvee was involved. Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Jeff Gordon said Hinson and the deputies were “traveling on a flooded portion” of the street at the time, but did not say if they were in a Humvee.
On some streets that are not severely flooded, teams use National Guard vehicles that can travel in deeper water than conventional vehicles can.
The State Bureau of Investigation was called to investigate the incident. That is standard procedure in all police-involved shootings.
Hinson was placed on administrative leave during the investigation, which also is standard procedure.