Man accused of firing at deputy may be charged with attempted murder

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said Thursday that charges of attempted murder may be filed against a man who fired a gunshot at a deputy this week.

The accused shooter, William Ray, 62, of Raleigh, has been charged with assault of a law enforcement officer with a firearm and damage to property, Harrison said.

The deputy, Donnie Farmer, who works with the sheriff’s patrol unit, was not injured.

The incident happened about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday near Raytown and Old Creedmoor roads. Harrison said Farmer was patrolling in a subdivision when he was flagged down by a motorist who said a man was pointing a gun at passing motorists. Farmer found the man, who was holding a shot gun.

The man started cursing the deputy and raised the weapon.

“Deputy Farmer grabbed hold of the gun and pushed him away,” Harrison said. The man reportedly told the deputy, “I got something for you,” before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a handgun, the sheriff said.

“Deputy Farmer hit the man’s hand” as the gun fired and managed to wrestle the weapon away from him, according to Harrison.

Investigators have not determined why the man was firing at motorists or why he fired at the deputy.

“He had been drinking,” the sheriff said. “He definitely had been drinking.”

Sheriff’s deputies transported Ray downtown for questioning. He was still acting belligerent in an interrogation room and “snatched the camera off the wall,” Harrison said.

Ray remained in custody at the Wake County jail Thursday night in lieu of a $150,000 bail, Harrison reported.

Thomasi McDonald: 919-829-4533, @tmcdona75589225