Home News “Admired and respected” police chief dies at home; ruled suicide

“Admired and respected” police chief dies at home; ruled suicide


ROLESVILLE — The death of Rolesville’s police chief has been ruled a suicide, Wake Forest police said Thursday.

Bobby Langston II, 45, was found dead in his home around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a news release.

A woman who called 911 said her husband had shot himself in a bedroom and that he “left a note,” without disclosing what it said. The caller said her daughter was also at the home.

Rolesville police asked the Wake Forest department to investigate because of “the tragic nature of this loss and severe emotional impact on all members of the Rolesville Police Department,” the release said.

Langston served in law enforcement for more than 20 years, starting his career in Wendell where he grew up. After he was sworn in as an officer with the Wendell Police Department in 1994, he rose through the ranks and became a captain.

He joined Rolesville police in 2013 and became chief in 2015. The town, located about 15 miles northeast of downtown Raleigh, has seen major growth that put more demands on the small-town police department.

With a population of roughly 6,000, Rolesville is a popular bedroom community for families looking for a suburban setting.

Langston oversaw two cases that shocked the community and catapulted the town into the news.

In December 2015, police determined that Kristy Bryan started a fire at her Rolesville home that killed her and her 3-year-old son, Tyler. Tyler’s twin was injured in the blaze, which was ruled a murder-suicide.

Two months ago, a video was posted on Twitter showing a police officer slamming a Rolesville High School student to the floor. Ruben De Los Santos, who was working as a school resource officer for the Rolesville Police Department, was placed on administrative leave and later resigned.

Flags in Rolesville were lowered to half-staff Thursday to honor Langston, and town hall is closed for the rest of the week.

In a news release from the town, officials said Langston was “admired and respected” in the community.

“He stood for character and ethics and ran the Department likewise,” it said. “He will truly be missed.”

“I’m at a loss for words,” Town Manager Bryan Hicks said Thursday. “Not only has the community lost our chief of police, I’ve lost my friend.”

The town has set up the Langston Family Trust Account with the State Employees’ Credit Union to accept donations. Money will help with funeral costs and education expenses for Langston’s children, according to the town.

Wendell Town Manager Teresa Piner said Langston was a dedicated employee during his time with the town.

“He was one of those officers that cared about citizens,” Piner said. “He was a good friend to everyone. We could all depend on him, whether at work or after hours.”

Langston served as president of the PTA at Wendell elementary and middle schools, which his daughters attended. He also coached softball for Wendell’s parks and recreation department, said Mayor Virginia Gray, who knew Langston for more than 20 years.

Langston and his family attended Hepzibah Baptist Church in Wendell for many years, said Kerry Zimmerman, director of children’s ministries at the church.

He taught Sunday school classes for toddlers for about six years, and children loved the class, she said.

“He recognized the benefit to investing in girls and boys at an early age,” Zimmerman said. “He was selfless, and he loved his classroom.”

Madison Iszler: 919-836-4952; miszler@newsobserver.com


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