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Craven County deputy, suspect identified in shooting

Robert Westrup.
Robert Westrup.(Craven County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Oct. 2, 2021 at 4:53 PM EDT
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CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - The Craven County Sheriff’s Office identified the deputy and suspect involved in a shooting on Crooked Run Drive Friday night.

Deputies responded to the home on 165 Crooked Run Drive in New Bern for a wellness check and to serve commitment papers when Robert Westrup, 41, opened fire with a handgun on Friday.

Deputy Zachary Bellingham was shot in the abdomen and was taken to Carolina East Medical Center first, then was airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville where he underwent emergency surgery for the gunshot wound.

Major David McFadyen said Bellingham is expected to survive, however the extent of his injuries are undetermined at this time.

Craven County Deputies are with Bellingham at the hospital.

Westrup, who was transported to Carolina East Medical Center, was also flown to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville for a single gunshot wound.

He was treated and released and taken into custody at Craven County Detention Facility.

Westrup is charged with assault on a law enforcement with a deadly weapon and attempted first degree murder.

He is being held under a $2 million secured bond and additional charges will be filed at a later date, according to the sheriff’s office.

The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.

McFadyen said law enforcement officials did not shoot at the suspect to lure him out nor shoot the suspect while removing him.

“The suspect received a single gunshot wound in the initial exchange of gunfire with deputies after he shot deputy Bellingham. No officer discharged their weapon at any point after that time,” McFadyen said.

Sheriff Chip Hughes thanked those who have reached out in support of the sheriff’s office and deputies and asked people continue to keep Bellingham in their thoughts and prayers during what they say will be a lengthy recovery.

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