The Sampson Independent, Clinton, N.C.
An officer-involved shooting during an alleged rape and kidnapping incident in Newton Grove is still under investigation Wednesday, the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that offered no new details but took issue with the implication of the town’s police chief in the shooting. The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation has now identified the town’s police chief as the one who fired the weapon.
On Tuesday, the SBI was requested by the Newton Grove Police Department and District Attorney to investigate an officer-involved shooting involving the Newton Grove Police Department. That investigation “remains ongoing,” with no additional information available, the SBI stated in a press release Wednesday afternoon.
“The officer who fired his weapon has been identified as Newton Grove Police Chief Gregory Calvin Warren, 45,” a press release from the SBI stated. “The name of the individual who was shot has not been released yet.”
The suspect was listed in critical but stable condition as of Tuesday night. He was upgraded to fair condition as of Wednesday afternoon.
The shooting happened around 2:40 p.m. Tuesday at Sam’s Circle Mart off Highway 701 in Newton Grove.
Preliminary reports indicated that a Newton Grove officer responded to a report of a female victim “who had been kidnapped and raped,” a previous press release from the Sheriff’s Office read. “It was originally reported the suspect was holding the victim against their will and was armed with a firearm.”
The Sheriff’s Office is probing the circumstances that led to the officer-involved shooting and the SBI is investigating the officer-involved shooting. On Wednesday, sheriff’s officials said the matter remains under investigation.
“To clarify, some news outlets have inaccurately quoted the Sheriff as implicating the Newton Grove Police Chief as the officer involved. To clarify, at no time has the Sheriff or his Office released the name of the officer involved,” the press release stated. It was released just before noon Wednesday. The SBI’s statement came out roughly an hour later, identifying Warren.
“At this time, we have no new information to offer and will update all news outlets via a press release as soon as new information is available,” the Sheriff’s Office release stated. “This also means no press conference will be held at this time.”
Following the shooting Tuesday, the Town of Newton Grove posted a Facebook message alerting residents to the shooting, in close proximity to the town’s circle.
“Please be on alert in town. There has been an officer involved shooting in Newton Grove,” the town’s message read. ” The Sampson County Sheriff’s Department along with the SBI are investigating. Prayers for all involved. Please respect our wishes and try to avoid the circle at this time. We will update more when we can. Thank you.”
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