Green Creek woman killed herself with state trooper’s gun

Published 9:50 pm Friday, October 13, 2017

GREEN CREEK-A 21-year-old woman in Green Creek died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound with her boyfriend’s service weapon from the N.C. Highway Patrol, and deputies are investigating the death as domestic violence related.

Around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11, the state trooper, who is not yet being named, called in a domestic violence report.

Capt. B.J. Bayne with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said officers discovered the trooper received some scratch marks and had been hit in the face so they advised him to get a protection order so things didn’t escalate.

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The trooper went to Steps to HOPE Wednesday afternoon and got a temporary protection order against his girlfriend and the mother of his children.

A few hours later, the trooper arrived home on Matthew Street in the Green Creek community and discovered his service weapon was missing, so he reported it.

Deputies arrived on scene and discovered a woman matching the description walking down the street.

“When officers stopped to speak to her, she pulled out the weapon and shot herself,” Bayne said.

The woman was reportedly located on the street about three houses down from her home. The trooper was at the house at the time of the shooting.

Officers witnessed the shooting and immediately began administering first aid to stop the bleeding, according to Bayne.

Green Creek Fire & Rescue and Polk County EMS also tried to save the woman, but she died on the way to the hospital.

Polk County Sheriff Donald Hill sent the officers who had witnessed the shooting home that evening, and came in personally to fill in, according to Bayne. The sheriff’s office also did a debriefing for everyone who was on call that night.

“It’s traumatic to see a young adult shoot themself,” Bayne said. “We would like to think we can handle anything, but it’s better to give them an outlet to handle traumatic situations like this.”

“It’s horrible when they have to experience things like this but it’s good to know they are supported by the community and also by the county,” said Bayne. “The Green Creek Fire & Rescue and the Polk County EMS also did a great job. Every effort was made to save her.”

October is domestic violence awareness month and Sheriff Hill is encouraging anyone in violent situations and relationships to get help.

“You need to reach out and get some help and get out of it,” Hill said.

Steps to HOPE is Polk County’s domestic violence center and shelter and has resources to help. There is a 24-hour crisis hotline, 828-894-2340.