HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV/WYFF) - A North Carolina deputy has died in the hospital after an early morning shooting that also left a suspect dead in Henderson County, officials say.
The incident began around 2:50 a.m. when someone called to 911 report a vehicle break-in on Bethea Drive, off of Piney Ridge in the Mountain Home community. The caller told 911 that shots were being exchanged between the homeowner and suspects.
Sheriff Lowell Griffin detailed the events that led to the shooting during a news conference.
Griffin said a homeowner on Bethea Drive heard a noise just before 3 a.m. outside their home. The homeowner looked out the window and saw a man breaking into a car, Griffin said. Griffin said the homeowner yelled at the man and the man came and shattered the window of the bedroom with a crowbar. The homeowner got his family to safety, got a gun and went on the porch, according to Griffin.
The homeowner told authorities he saw the man take a gun from the console of the vehicle and shots were exchanged between the two men, Griffin said. The homeowner was not injured and went back into his home. Deputies arrived at the home and found the suspect in a truck across the street, Griffin said.
Griffin said the suspect appeared to comply and show his hands but then fired one round and hit a deputy in the face.The injured deputy was taken to Mission Hospital in critical condition.
Officials say the deputy, later identified as eight-year veteran deputy Ryan Hendrix, 35, has since died.
Hendrix was a Marine veteran and has two children. He was engaged and set to be married in October.
“It is with a very heavy heart the family of Henderson County Deputy Ryan Hendrix and Sheriff Lowell Griffin announce Ryan’s passing,” a Facebook post from Henderson County Sheriff’s Office read. “Even in passing Ryan continues to exemplify a servant’s heart. You see, Ryan was also an organ donor. He will continue to help strangers for a lifetime, even after making the ultimate sacrifice. Ryan’s family wants everyone to know that “Ryan was doing the job he was born to do and he died doing the job he loved."
Two other deputies on the scene returned fire and killed the suspect, according to Griffin.
The suspect has been identified as Robert Ray Doss Jr. Officials said Doss is from Virginia and was currently wanted by South Carolina Probation and Parole officials.
They said he had a criminal history in South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia that includes drug offenses, larceny and felony theft.
Griffin said another person of interest in the case is in custody.
Investigators from the State Bureau of investigation and Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit are investigating.
No further information has been made public.