‘We are simply just doing our job,’ Pitt County Sheriff reacts to six NC deputies shot in last three weeks

‘We are simply just doing our job,’ Pitt County Sheriff reacts to six NC deputies shot in last three weeks
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 7:36 PM EDT
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PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - There are growing concerns after another North Carolina sheriff’s deputy was killed in the line of duty.

Wake County Deputy Ned Byrd was shot and killed Thursday night in southeast Raleigh off Battle Bridge Road. He was a member of the k-9 unit and had been a deputy for five years.

During a press conference, Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker described Byrd as “very dedicated and committed”.

Pitt County Sheriff Paula Dance says she’s reached out to Baker to send her condolences and offer assistance in the manhunt for the person responsible for Byrd’s death.

“We are certainly praying for them in Wake County and we are praying for officers across the state,” Dance said. “We are praying for officers across the nation for their safety as we are simply just doing our job.”

In the last three weeks, six deputies have been shot, including three Wayne County deputies while serving involuntary commitment papers. Sergeant Matthew Fishman died from his injuries and was laid to rest on Aug. 9.

Sheriff Dance, however, says there are no current plans to change the way deputies respond to calls.

“Typically most agencies such as ours don’t send one officer to domestic calls. We’re sending multiple officers and guess what? They’re still getting shot,” Dance said.

As deputies across the state continue to mourn the deaths of both Fishman and Byrd, Pitt County Lt. Michael Clark says he is reflecting on his own safety.

“When it is closer to home, it does hit a little harder,” Clark said. “When we leave our families anybody can leave home in the morning and not come home. But with our jobs, when we leave home we know that there’s people that would actually target the uniform, the badge and never know the person. That’s a pretty hard feeling.”

According to the officer down memorial page, a website tracking law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, there’s been a 14% increase in the number of officers who died from gun violence this year, compared to 2021.

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