Inquiries continue into NC police killing man who shot them from inside burning house

Investigations continue into an incident where sheriff’s deputies and police killed a man who shot two officers and a firefighter with a pellet shotgun during a house fire last week.

The shooting happened after midnight Friday as law enforcement officers and firefighters responded to a fire in Rowan County. Two residents said someone was possibly inside. As firefighters began to fight the fire, the man inside the home “began shooting,” Rowan County Emergency Services Deputy Chief T.J. Brown said in a statement on Friday.

The first responders suffered non life-threatening injuries during the encounter at the home in the 500 block of Mahaffey Drive, Brown said Friday. That’s north of Rockwell and south of Granite Quarry.

The man who exchanged gunfire with the officers was identified as 45-year-old Ronald Wayne Green.

Rowan County Sheriff Travis Allen issued a statement Tuesday saying he viewed deputies’ body camera footage and is confident his officers “conducted themselves in a professional and courageous manner while in the face of life-threatening danger.”

“In my opinion, their actions consisted of force necessary, reasonable and appropriate for the deadly encounter,” Allen said.

Allen released the officers’ names Tuesday and said all four “gave verbal commands to the offender in attempts to de-escalate the incident.”

Deputy Robert Clement, who’s been with the sheriff’s office for 11 months, was shot in his left hand “by what appears to be a pelleted shotgun blast” while “exchanging gunfire with the offender,” Allen said. “His actions prevent(ed) the active shooter from engaging other First Responders on the scene.”

Green’s shotgun contained “common shotgun rounds,“ Rowan County Chief Deputy Jason Owens told the Observer in an email Tuesday.

Master Deputy Randal Addison, hired in 2015, directed other deputies “to organize a response that avoided crossfires and danger to the public and First Responders in the area.” His coat and uniform were damaged by pelleted shot, but he escaped injury, Allen said.

The sheriff called Addison “a driving force behind bringing this horrific incident to an end without further injury to First Responders or residents in the area.”

Also hired in 2015, Master Deputy Nikolas Plumley “actively engaged the offender with weapons fire,” Allen said.

Deputy Taylor Warren, hired in 2017, was at the back of the home with other deputies, Allen said. While Warren wasn’t “in a position to exchange fire with” Green, he gave verbal commands to try to de-escalate the situation, Allen said.

Deputies and a Granite Quarry police officer exchanged rounds of gunfire with Green, the sheriff said.

Allen said his office extends condolences to Green’s family.

“It is never our desire for outcomes to end in this manner,” he said. “However, we are called upon at times to use force necessary, reasonable, and appropriate for the protection of our community and fellow First Responders.”

A firefighter was shot in the face and leg, Brown said. One of the officers was shot in the face, he said, without specifying the officer’s department.

The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting and fire, as is standard procedure when an officer is shot, Brown said.

Allen said the internal investigation by his office and the investigation by the SBI continue.