LAWNDALE, N.C. -- One person is dead after a shooting involving a Cleveland County Sheriff's Deputy.
The Cleveland County Sheriff's Office says EMS was called to the scene in the 1300 block of East Stagecoach Trail in Lawndale Tuesday afternoon in reference to a mentally unstable person. The caller stated that her brother, Pedro Cruz-Amado, was threatening to harm himself and was in the front yard saying bye to family members.
When the deputy arrived to assist EMS, authorities say Cruz charged the deputy, striking him with a metal chair. The deputy was struck in the head with the chair, and the Sheriff's Office says, that's when the deputy fired his gun, striking the suspect.
Cruz was killed, and Deputy Scott Trammel was rushed to the hospital with injuries described as non-life threatening. He sustained injuries to the head and arm, but was released from the hospital Tuesday evening.
A family member who lives directly across the street said Cruz was in his 20s, a graduate of Burns High School, and was currently attending Cleveland Community College.
Cruz' stepfather, Daryl Carpenter, said Cruz suffered from depression and it had gotten worse in the past two weeks.
"He said,'Mama, I'm ready to go. Bye, I love you,' and the next thing you know, he said, 'You may need to call, I need something. I need some help," Carpenter recalled.
Carpenter questions if the deputy had to shoot his son, and he wonders if there were not other non-lethal options.
"It's hard," he said. "I lost my son in my front yard from a call that was meant to be helpful, not hurtful."
The Sheriff's Office says Deputy Trammel has worked for the department for more than five years.
Sheriff Norman states “A preliminary review shows that Deputy Trammel did not violate any policies or procedures. It is sad that an individual had to lose a life. I would ask the public to keep Deputy Trammel and his family along with the family of Mr. Cruz-Amado in their thoughts and prayers.”
The State Bureau of Investigation and the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office are handling the investigation.