Sheriff identifies Wake County deputy killed in line of duty
WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WRAL) - A Wake County deputy was shot and killed while responding to a call Thursday night.
Deputy Ned Byrd, 48, was found dead around 1 a.m. along an area of Battle Bridge Road with open fields on either side. He had been shot multiple times, and officials believe he was killed around two hours before he was found.
WRAL News cameras captured deputies escorting the deputy’s body from the scene.
A series of calls on Thursday night brought Byrd and his K-9 partner to the scene, according to Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker.
“We believe he may have come into contact with someone and gotten out of his car to check on them, and check on the suspicious activity,” said Baker.
Byrd’s K-9, named Sasha, was still inside the vehicle, which Baker says indicates Byrd may not have considered whatever he initially encountered to be a major threat, since he hadn’t needed his partner. Baker says Byrd also didn’t call for backup.
“So again, that kind of lets us know he didn’t feel a need for support,” he said.
Byrd didn’t radio to let anyone know he was getting out of his vehicle to investigate, according to investigators. He also didn’t radio for help after he was shot. Deputies came to the scene only after Byrd didn’t respond for enough time that they decided to check on his welfare. Baker says he believes Byrd may have been caught off guard by whoever shot him.
A massive search continues for the shooter, with dozens of law enforcement officers seen stationed along Battle Bridge Road near Auburn Knightdale Road and the River Ridge Golf Club.
Baker says they are following leads — looking for a man who might be driving a white pickup truck.
Investigators are working to piece together the final moments of Byrd’s life. There is camera footage from the vehicle that authorities are using to help in the investigation.
“We will find who’s responsible for this loss, even in the midst of the hurt and the pain,” Baker said.
Six deputies have been shot in North Carolina in the last three weeks.
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