Update | Suspect shot by officers in Caldwell County identified

Update | Suspect shot by officers in Caldwell County identified



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Posted on June 6, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Updated Friday, Jun 7 at 5:26 PM

CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. -- Officers say a Caldwell County man came out shooting at them, prompting a SWAT situation that put a nearby daycare on lockdown Thursday morning.

It happened at a home in southern Caldwell County on South Lake Drive.

At lunchtime at Northlakes Academy daycare, things finally got back to normal for the teachers.

“It put me in panic mode,” said teacher Jennifer Williams.

Thursday morning the Caldwell County Sheriff's Department called frantically.

“They just said they had a situation on a street over and that we were on lockdown.”

Officers tell NBC Charlotte they were checking out a situation between a husband and wife on nearby Southlake Drive. They say the man shot at officers, and they shot back, killing him. That man was identified Friday as John Mark Settlemyer, 67.

The daycare is less than a tenth of a mile from the home at the center of the shootout.

“We were just making sure everyone is secure and safe, and we went to all the rooms making sure all the doors were locked, and we pulled our shades down,” Williams said.

Not knowing why they were on lockdown, she says she couldn't help but think of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary last year.

“Knowing that I’m in charge of these children and making sure they're safe, it was scary.”

She says it was comforting knowing there were deputies guarding the kids during the lockdown.

“It was really nice to know their presence was here just keeping us safe.”

The SBI is now investigating and the officers involved are on administrative leave. The officers involved were Lieutenant Kenneth Bentley, Sergeant Jonathon Kirby, Deputy Shaun Gates and Deputy Steven Ellis.