LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that a deputy shot and killed a reportedly suicidal man on Friday evening.
The incident took place off of Westdale Lane in Lincoln County. After receiving a call about a suicidal 38-year-old man, later identified as Ray Lee Correll, deputies responded to the scene where they determined that Correll had fired shots at his wife.
“The caller made a statement that the man has a gun and says that he will blow the cops brains out if they come out,” Sheriff Bill Beam said.
Sheriff Beam described a scary and dangerous situation Friday night, when deputies confronted Correll holding a gun to his head, threatening to kill the officers.
Sheriff Beam says his deputies are trained to deescalate out-of-control situations, but when they were confronted with a man waving a pistol and shooting it off right in front of them, there was little recourse.
“He rushed our officers, and was within a very, very short distance away from them, and put them in immediate danger,” Sheriff Beam said.
Neighbors said that Correll was shooting a gun off and threatening suicide very close to other people, including children.
After deputies initially tried to negotiate with the man, Correll turned the gun on the deputies and fired at them, causing them to return the fire, at which point Correll was struck.
“We heard shots, which is really not that unusual. But then we heard more shots,” a neighbor said.
Investigators say three of the deputies shot at the man. Correll reportedly died at the scene.
As per protocol, all three deputies have been put on administrative leave pending the outcome. Sheriff Beam says he feels for not only what his deputies are going through, but the family of the man who died as well.
“Our condolences go out to them, it’s a tragedy. Not only a tragedy for them it’s a tragedy for my officers. Because they are going to have to live with this for the rest of their days in their law enforcement career,” Sheriff Beam said.
No further information has been released at this time.