Craven County man injured in officer-involved shooting has died

CRAVEN COUNTY, NC (WITN) - A man who was injured in an officer-involved shooting Friday has died from his injuries, according to Craven County District Attorney Scott Thomas.

Bruce Puchel, 45, of Ernul died Friday at Vidant Medical Center, Thomas said in a statement.

An initial investigation shows deputies approached Puchel in a wooded area behind his home and that's when Puchel raised a handgun up towards deputies, Thomas said.

When Puchel then failed to obey commands to drop the gun, a deputy fired at Puchel, Thomas said.

Earlier Friday evening, the Craven County Sheriff's Office had issued a public release to be on the lookout for Puchel because he was believed to be armed and dangerous. Puchel was known to law enforcement for having previously threatened suicide, officials said.

The State Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating the case.



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The Craven County Sheriff's Office says a man they had been searching for considered to be armed and dangerous has been shot by an investigator with the sheriff's office when the man refused orders to comply.

Friday afternoon the Craven County Sheriff's Office received a report of a subject who posted a video online which appeared to show a suicide committed with a handgun.

The subject, earlier identified as 45-year-old Bruce Puchel, was known to law enforcement as having previously threatened suicide. Deputies and investigators from the sheriff's office began a search at the subjects last known location on Saint Delight Church Road with the assistance of a K9 from the New Bern Police Department, but he was not located.

The Sheriff's Office issued a public release to be on the lookout for the Puchel believed to be armed and dangerous.

At approximately 5:11PM a 911 call was received stating that Puchel was seen in a wooded area of 4490 Highway 17 North Ernul.

Two investigators from the sheriff's office assisted by the Vanceboro Police Department responded and begin a search.

The officers encountered Puchel in the wooded area where they say he refused to comply with the officers commands and posed a threat of bodily harm to the officers. That's when an investigator with the sheriff's office fired his weapon to protect himself and fellow officers.

The information provided by the sheriff's office did not state the extent of injuries Puchel sustained. We have asked for further information and will report that once we receive it.

The sheriff's office requested that the State Bureau of Investigations investigate this shooting.

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Deputies in one Eastern Carolina county are searching for a man who they say is endangered and could be armed.

Craven County deputies say Bruce Puchel today posted a video online depicting him harming himself.

The 45-year-old man lives on U.S. 17 North in Ernul.

Deputies say Puchel is considered armed and dangerous and was last seen wearing a white dress shirt and a red tie.

Anyone who knows Puchel's whereabouts is asked to contact the Craven County Sheriff's Office at 252-636-6620 or Craven County Communications at 252-633-2357.