Wounded North Carolina sheriff’s deputies expected to make full recovery

Nov 8, 2023, 1:48 PM | Updated: 1:52 pm

LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) — Two North Carolina sheriff’s deputies who were seriously wounded when they attempted to arrest a wanted man this week are expected to make a full recovery, authorities said Wednesday.

Robeson County sheriff’s deputies Jonathan Walters and Kaelin Locklear were injured by gunfire and a police vehicle on Tuesday as officers tried to serve a warrant on Shawn Tobin Locklear Jr., who is not related to the deputy.

The sheriff’s office said Shawn Locklear allegedly fired at the deputies and was shot several times before being taken into custody. He was in critical but stable condition at UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill, a sheriff’s office news release said.

Sheriff Burnis Wilkins and his top lieutenants visited the two wounded deputies at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville. Deputy Kaelin Locklear was listed in stable condition, while Walters was being treated in the intensive care unit, the statement said.

The sheriff’s office has said the 20-year-old suspect, who has been facing a murder charge since December and was released on bond in May, will face additional charges when he leaves the hospital, including two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Wilkins said the shootings occurred Tuesday morning in a community outside of Maxton near the South Carolina line, with the suspect initially shooting at the deputies, who then returned fire.

The sheriff said the suspect fled the area by getting into one of the wounded deputies’ cruisers and backing up, running over Walters’ leg. He was later arrested by other deputies.

Wilkins said deputies had originally sought Shawn Locklear on suspicion of violating the conditions of his pretrial release because the monitoring bracelet around his ankle had been removed.

Wilkins on Tuesday said that he was “100% disgusted by certain parts of the judicial system” for how Shawn Locklear had been allowed out of jail while being accused of murder.

The Robeson sheriff’s office didn’t immediately respond on Wednesday to a phone message or an email asking whether it had contact information on an attorney for the suspect.

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Wounded North Carolina sheriff’s deputies expected to make full recovery