SHERIFF: Deputy Wearing Bullet Proof Vest When Shot

Williamston, NC -- A deputy sheriff was wearing a bullet proof vest when he was shot and killed Tuesday morning in Martin County.

Sheriff Dan Gibbs says the bullet that killed Deputy Charlie Brown did not hit the vest.

The medical examiner says Brown was shot once, with the bullet traveling from his chest to his abdomen.

Brown and Jerry Pace, Jr. were both killed in the shootout on West Main Street in Williamston. An autopsy shows Pace died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Sheriff Dan Gibbs says it all started when Pace's sister called Williamston police about her brother and father getting into an argument. Gibbs says when law enforcement officers arrived, they say Pace was at the back of the home, carrying an assault rifle. Authorities say Pace refused multiple commands from officers, and that he opened fire first.

The SBI is investigating the shooting.

Brown will be buried Saturday after a funeral at the Bob Martin Agricultural Center in Williamston.

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Wiliamston police have placed two officers who were involved in Tuesday's shooting on administrative leave.

That is standard procedure in most officer-involved shootings. The SBI is investigating the shooting.

Killed in the shootout on West Main Street was Martin County Deputy Charlie Brown and Jerry Pace, Jr.

Authorities say Pace was armed with a long rifle and refused officers requests. They say he fired his weapon first and law enforcement officers then returned fire.

Brown was a law enforcement officer for approximately 15 years. He is survived by a wife and two daughters.

There is no word yet on funeral arrangements of Deputy Brown.

To leave your thoughts and condolences to the family you can click here to go to the WITN guestbook.

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A shootout on a Williamston street has left a Martin County deputy and the gunman dead.

Killed was Deputy Charlie Brown, a lawman with approximately 15 years of experience.

Authorities say around 9:15 a.m. they received a call to 1710 West Main Street about a man armed with a long gun. Officers say they saw Jerry Pace, Junior outside a home and they issued several verbal commands to him. They say he refused to comply and discharged the weapon. Officers returned fire and killed the man.

The SBI is now investigating the shooting.

An elementary school, about a half mile from the shooting, was placed on lockdown as a precaution.

Brown died at Martin General Hospital, where an EastCare helicopter had been called.

At the hospital family and law enforcement officers gathered for support.

"My heart certainly grieves, its difficult standing here. It's sad anytime anyone is taken away unexpectedly," county manager Russell Overman told WITN.

The North Carolina Department of Corrections shows a 36-year-old Jerry Pace Jr. had a 1993 conviction for resisting an officer and trespassing in Martin County. The website also shows convictions for larceny and breaking and entering in 1990.

Brown, who was a narcotics investigator, is survived by his wife Cindy and two daughters.

This is not the first time a member of the Martin County Sheriff's Office has died in the line of duty. In 1992, Sheriff Jerry Beech was killed in Oak City after responding to a bank robbery.

Williamston Police Department and Martin County Sheriff's Office Press Release

On Tuesday, December 08, 2009, at approximately 9:16 a.m., Williamston Police Officers and Martin County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a 911 call at 1710 West Main Street, Williamston, NC in reference to a suspect armed with a long gun.

Upon the officer's arrival, they observed Jerry Lee Pace, Jr., white male, date of birth: 04/03/1973 outside of the residence armed with a long gun. The officers issued several verbal commands to Pace. However, Pace refused to comply with the commands. Pace then discharged the weapon and the officers returned fire.

During the incident, Jerry Lee Pace, Jr. was fatally wounded.

Narcotics Investigator Charles "Charlie" Douglas Brown, Jr. with the Martin County Sheriff's Office was also fatally wounded. Brown has been a law enforcement officer for approximately fifteen years and previously worked with the Williamston Police Department.

Brown is survived by his wife Cindy and two daughters. Charlie was well respected by the law enforcement community and will be truly missed.

The Williamston Police Department and the Martin County Sheriff's Office have requested that the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) investigate the incident.

WITN News has confirmed that a law enforcement officer has been shot and a suspect wounded in a shooting in Williamston.

It happened around 9:15 a.m. in the 1700 block of West Main Street.

The shooting scene was about a half-mile from Williamston Primary School. Superintendent Dr. Tom Daley tells WITN News that the school was put on lockdown at the request of police. He said the school did exactly what they were told to do and now the school is open again.

EastCare has landed a helicopter at Martin General Hospital, though it is not yet confirmed that this is related to the shooting.

WITN News has multiple crews en-route to the scene. Stay with WITN News and for more on this developing story.