A man lawmen say fired on a deputy and then shot himself has died, according to the Wayne County Sheriff's Office.
Harold Clother died Tuesday morning at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville. Lawmen say Clother shot himself last Thursday as lawmen approached him in Dudley. He was wanted for firing on a deputy several hours earlier.
The search for Clother began early Thursday morning. He was in a vehicle that had driven away from lawmen and was being chased by Wayne County Sheriff's Deputy Travis Cox. Lawmen say the suspect car stopped abruptly, and Clother started firing. Deputy Cox suffered minor injuries from broken glass but dodged the bullets.
Lawmen searched on the ground and by helicopter to find Clother and tracked the 30-year-old man down on Timothy Street in Dudley. As lawmen were approaching the residence, Clother's girlfriend, April Crisp, left the home and told them Clother was threatening suicide. That's when deputies heard a shot. Inside they found Clother with a gunshot wound to the head. He was transported to Pitt County Memorial Hospital, which is where he died Tuesday morning.
Sheriff Carey Winders identified the gunman as Harold Clother, who the sheriff says was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital with head injuries. He's now in critical condition at Pitt County Memorial Hospital.
Clother was found around 8:30 a.m. after deputies received a call to Timothy Street in Dudley about a man with a gun. The sheriff says Clother went to his girlfriend's home, who was also with him during the deputy shooting. Winders says they have recovered the suspected weapon.
The sheriff says it started around 12:30 a.m. when deputies responded to reports of shots fired in the Rollingwood subdivision of Dudley. As Deputy Chris Jackson approached the area he saw a vehicle fitting the description. As he approached the stopped vehicle, it drove off with two men and two women inside. Deputy Travis Cox had just arrived and chased the vehicle down Old Mount Olive Highway, Genoa Road and Pecan Road.
Winders says at one point the driver slammed on his brakes and someone in the vehicle shot several times at the cruiser with what appeared to be a SKS high-powered rifle. The cruiser was struck several times, incapacitating it and shooting out the windshield. Deputy Cox received minor injuries from the breaking glass.
The vehicle was later found in a wooded area off Casey's Saw Mill Road. Two helicopters and a SWAT team were used to search that area.
The sheriff says they since have learned that Clother got into another vehicle, which was found on Timothy Street. As lawmen were approaching that residence, Clother's girlfriend, April Crisp, left the home and told them Clother was threatening suicide. That's when deputies head a shot. Inside they found the 30-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the head.
Deputies says Clother has an extensive criminal history from Michigan and is wanted there for a probation violation involving a home invasion charge.
So far no charges have been brought in the deputy shooting.
Deputies involved in the search for a man who shot at a Wayne County deputy this morning are now concentrating their efforts at a mobile home park in Dudley.
The deputy was shot at after a traffic stop around 12:30 a.m. in Rollingwood Estates of Old Mount Olive Rd. The officer was able to duck and avoid the bullets. Sheriff Carey Winders says the deputy's injuries were only cuts from the broken windshield.
A SWAT team and the Highway Patrol helicopter were brought in to search a vehicle on Weber Lane, off of Casey Mill Rd. while other agencies searched in the area of Arrington Bridge Road and Casey Mill Road. The area is near the Neuse River and is described as riddled with swamps.
Around 8:45 a.m. deputies were alerted to a man with a gun on Timothy Street in Dudley. WITN was told by witnesses that an ambulance left the area a short time later. We are awaiting an update from Wayne County authorities on the situation.
We have new details now from Wayne County where lawmen are searching for the person who fired at a deputy.
Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders spoke with WITN's Hilary Magacs at length about the attack on the deputy. Sheriff Winders says deputies were call to a shots fired call just after midnight Thursday in Rollingwood Estates of Old Mount Olive Rd. Responding deputies stopped the suspect vehicle, and the driver appeared in intoxicated. Sheriff Winders says deputies put the driver in one of their patrol cars.
That's when one of the other three people in the car took the wheel and drove off. Another deputy who had just arrived for back-up started chasing the car. When the chase was on Pecan Road, south of Goldsboro, Sheriff Winders says the driver abruptly hit the brakes. A man then got out of the suspect car and started firing at the deputy. He was able to duck and avoid the bullets. Winders says the deputy's injuries were only cuts from the broken windshield.
The search for the three people in this vehicle has continued ever since. A SWAT team and the Highway Patrol helicopter were brought in to search a vehicle on Weber Lane, off of Casey Mill Rd. We're told the vehicle was empty, and the search continues.
Several law enforcement agencies are part of the search for the suspect in the area of Arrington Bridge Road and Casey Mill Road in Dudley in Wayne County. The area is near the Neuse River and is described as riddled with swamps.
Casey Mill Road was shut down for a time this morning, and Sheriff Winders says lawmen alerted all the residents by phone and by knocking on doors. Casey Mill Road was opened again by 7:30 a.m.
This is a breaking news story. We will update it as information becomes available.