Investigation underway after deputies killed man shooting at first responders in burning Rowan Co. home

Firefighters were called to a fire on Mahaffey Drive in Rockwell around 12:38 a.m. Friday.
Three first responders were hurt after a man started shooting as they responded to a house fire.
Published: Dec. 2, 2022 at 5:41 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 2, 2022 at 3:16 PM EST

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Rowan County Sheriff Travis Allen is launching an internal investigation after a man inside a burning home was killed by deputies in an exchange of gunfire.

According to the fire department, firefighters were called to a fire on Mahaffey Drive in Rockwell around 12:38 a.m. Friday. Law enforcement also responded.

According to the fire department, firefighters were called to a fire on Mahaffey Drive in Rockwell around 12:38 a.m. Friday. Law enforcement also responded.

As first responders approached the back of the home, officials said Ronald Wayne Green, 45, began shooting. Green was killed after exchanging gunfire with deputies.

Three emergency responders were injured and are expected to be OK: one law enforcement officer had a gunshot wound to the face, a deputy had a gunshot wound to the hand, and a firefighter received gunshot wounds to the face and leg.

“It is never our desire for outcomes to end in this manner,” Allen said in a press release. “However, we are called upon at times to use force necessary, reasonable, and appropriate for the protection of our community and fellow first responders. "

According to Allen, the deputies involved were Deputy Robert Clement, Master Deputies Randal Addison and Nikolas Plumley and Deputy Taylor Warren who did not exchange gunfire, but gave Green verbal commands in an attempt to de-escalate the situation. Clement also tried to de-escalate.

Deputy Robert Clement has been with the Sheriff’s Office for 11 months. Deputy Clement was wounded in the left hand by what appears to be a pelleted shotgun blast. Deputy Clement sustained his wound and then returned gunfire with the Green. According to the sheriff, deputy Clement gave verbal commands to the offender in attempts to de-escalate the incident. His actions prevent the active shooter from engaging other first responders on the scene,” Allen said. Deputy Clement was treated on the scene.

Master Deputy Randal Addison was hired by the Rowan Sheriff’s Office in June of 2015. Master Deputy Addison actively exchanged gunfire with the offender, according to Sheriff Allen. Addison’s coat and uniform received damage from pelleted shot, but he did not receive a bodily injury.

According to the sheriff, Addison was a “driving force behind bringing this horrific incident to an end without further injury to first responders or residents in the area.”

Sheriff Allen said that Addison gave verbal commands to the offender in attempts to deescalate the situation. He also directed other Deputies on the scene to organize a response that avoided crossfires and danger to the public and first responders in the area.

“His courage and heroic actions also prevent further injury to citizens and First Responders on the Scene,” Allen said.

Master Deputy Nikolas Plumley was hired by the Rowan Sheriff’s Office in February 2015. Plumley actively engaged the offender with weapons fire, according to the sheriff. Plumley gave numerous verbal commands to the offender attempting to deescalate the situation.

“His actions and professional performance prevented any further innocent neighbors and first responders from being injured,” Sheriff Allen said.

Deputy Taylor Warren was hired by the Rowan Sheriff’s Office in September of 2017. Taylor was at the back of the residence with the above-mentioned deputies but was not in a position to exchange fire with the offender. Deputy Warren gave verbal commands to the offender in an attempt to de-escalate the situation. Deputy Warren’s actions prevented any further injury to first responders and innocent neighbors, Sheriff Allen said.

“All deputies involved are being well taken care of and have been offered post-incident support. Rowan County Human Resources has graciously arranged support for the deputies involved in the incident as well as others who were on the scene during this traumatic time,” Allen added.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is conducting a separate investigation, as is customary with all officer-involved shootings.