Police: Tarboro shooter had been treated for mental issues

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Authorities say a man who killed three people in Tarboro last month was delusional and had been treated for mental issues.

Tarboro police said Tuesday they had determined that 40-year-old Ian Sherrod had struggled with mannerisms indicative of paranoid schizophrenia within recent years.

Investigators had identified Sherrod as the suspect after talking with witnesses to the shootings in Tarboro on Feb. 28. Authorities said Sherrod pointed a gun at officers when they confronted him, and they shot him.

The victims were 36-year-old Ventura Sanchez, 28-year-old Ana Marlen Cruz-Franco, 36-year-old George Lee Dickens Jr.

The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating Sherrod's shooting. Tarboro police are investigating the three killings.

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The SBI confirms that one of the two members of law enforcement on leave for fatally shooting a man who had just gone on a killing spree, also fatally shot a man last year.

The State Bureau of Investigation said Tarboro Sgt. K.N. Morris and Edgecombe County Deputy D.K. Winders have been placed on administrative leave while the agency investigates. That is standard protocol for an officer-involved shooting.

Investigators said 40-year-old Ian Sherrod pointed a gun at the officers when they confronted him and the police fired.

Officers had identified Sherrod as the suspected gunman after speaking with people who witnessed the fatal shootings of Ventura Sanchez, Ana Cruz-Franco, and George Dickens Jr.

Records show Deputy Winders was put on leave last May after fatally shooting 41-year-old Kenneth Todd.

The SBI said Winders was responding to a domestic call around 4 p.m. on May 19th, 2014.

Todd reportedly charged the deputy with a sword. The SBI said Todd did not comply with the deputy's demands, and was fatally shot at the scene. In that case, both the SBI and the district attorney said the shooting was justified and no charges would be filed against the deputy.

Investigators said they are still working to figure out a motive for the recent, deadly spree in Tarboro.


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A man who was critically injured in a shooting Saturday afternoon died in the hospital Sunday morning.

Ventura Sanchez, 36, is now the fourth person to die in the shooting spree.

Two other victims and the suspect, 40-year-old Ian Sherrod, died Saturday.

Tarboro Police Chief Damon Williams says Sherrod walked into a barber shop and shot 36-year-old George Dickens Jr. killing the man.

Sherrod then went to a local mobile home park and shot two more people. Ana Cruz-Franco, 28, died from her injuries Saturday while Sanchez died Sunday morning.

Franco's family said Monday the couple's children were home at the time of the shooting and it was their 9-year-old daughter who called them for help.

Diana Cruz, the victim's niece, lives in the same mobile home park and says she sprinted to the scene.

"I ran so fast to their house I hadn't even realized my uncle was in the car," says Cruz. "My mom comes in the door and sees my aunt and her face, the color drains from her face. Her reaction is to call 911."

A deputy later spotted Sherrod in a vehicle near Main Street and Northern Boulevard in Tarboro.

Police say they asked him to surrender, but he exited the vehicle with a weapon pointed at officers. Subsequently, the officers used deadly force.

A small memorial has appeared outside the barber shop.

Police have still not given a possible motive for the crimes, but did say Sherrod was an acquaintance of the first victim, Dickens.



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Police have identified the three people killed, including the suspected gunman, in multiple shootings Saturday afternoon.

Tarboro police received a call at 12:54 p.m. of a reported shooting at the Master's Touch Barber Shop on West St. James Street. Officers found 36-year-old George Dickens Jr. shot. Police say he died as a result of his injuries.

At 1:20 p.m. another call came in of a reported shooting at Mobile Home Estates in Tarboro.

Officers found one man, 36-year-old Ventura Sanchez, shot inside of a vehicle. Officers found a second victim, 28-year-old Ana Cruz-Franco, shot inside of the home. She was transported to Vidant Edgecombe Hospital in serious condition but later died. Sanchez's condition is not known.

The suspect in all three shootings was identified as Ian Sherrod. Witnesses told police the gunman was acquaintances with Dickens. No other information about the suspect was given by police Saturday night.

An Edgecombe County deputy spotted the suspect's vehicle near Main Street and Northern Boulevard in Tarboro.

Police say Sherrod was seated inside his vehicle displaying a weapon. Law enforcement converged on the scene. Police say Sherrod was repeatedly asked to surrender. When Sherrod got out of his vehicle with the firearm, police say he began pointing it at officers.

Officers used deadly force as a result. Police say first aid was provided by Edgecombe County Rescue Squad, but Sherrod died as a result of his injuries.

The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating, which is customary in officer-involved shootings.

A motive was not given for the shootings.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Tarboro Police Department at (252) 641-4247.



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Police in Tarboro have confirmed 3 people died in shootings at two separate locations Saturday afternoon.

One of the fatal shootings happened at the Master's Touch barber shop located on 801 W St. James Street around 1 p.m. One person was shot dead at this location, according to Chief Damon Williams.

While officers were at the barber shop, Williams says calls began coming in about another shooting at a nearby mobile home park. A woman and man were shot in that encounter. Police say the woman died, but the condition of the man is unknown at this time.

Police found the suspect near an intersection of Main Street and E. Northern Blvd. Williams says the suspect is dead.

Police have not released any names or a motive for the shootings at this time.

The SBI is investigating because one of the shootings involved an officer, according to Williams.

We'll keep you posted as information comes in.



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Tarboro Police are sorting out the details of a shooting this afternoon.

Chief Damon Williams tells WITN they're investigating a shooting that took place at a barber shop on the corner of St. James Street and Old Sparta Road.

Williams says it happened around 1 p.m.

Williams says more than one person was shot, but could not confirm their conditions or give an account of how it happened at this time.

Police are gathering information at the scene.

Stay with WITN and WITN.com as this story develops.