SALISBURY, N.C. -- State agents are investigating a deadly attempted armed robbery at a Salisbury restaurant.

Police responded to calls about shots being fired inside the China Buffet restaurant on Arlington Street Tuesday night around 9:05 p.m.

According to the Salisbury police, the suspect- who was wearing a mask and carrying a shotgun- was trying to rob the restaurant.

Police said an off-duty Rowan County Sheriff's deputy, who was there eating dinner at the time, confronted the suspect. He s been identified as John Kempf, 41.

Another customer who was in the restaurant during the attempted robbery told NBC Charlotte the deputy showed his badge, but the suspect continued to wave the gun around near tables where people were sitting.

Salisbury Police said at some point the situation escalated and the deputy fired his weapon, striking the suspect in the upper-torso. That man died on-scene. No one else was injured.

Kempf has been with the sheriff s office since May of last year. By state law, Kempf is allowed to carry a gun while off duty.

He is currently on a probationary status.

Since this was an officer-involved shooting, the State Bureau of Investigations is handling the case, assisted by the Salisbury Police Department.

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