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Manhunt and Standoff for Suspect That Shot Deputy, Shot at Wilkes Sheriff Ends in Death

By Jesse Wood

A standoff at River’s Edge Road with a man who shot a Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office deputy and shot at Wilkes County Sheriff Chris Shew on Monday morning ended with the suspect being shot to death, according to the Wilkes Journal-Patriot.

Authorities identified the suspect as James Monroe Barrett, 60, of 3569 Bethel Road of Jonesville. He was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle.


Shew and Deputy Steven Russell were responding to a domestic violence situation just before 6 a.m. on Monday when Barrett starting shooting before they were able to get out of their vehicle.

Russell was shot in the shoulder and a bullet fragment grazed his head. Russell was transported to the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, where he is being treated. Shew told Wilkes Journal-Patriot that Russell wasn’t critically injured. Another person who wasn’t a law enforcement officer, was also shot and transported to the hospital.

While Shew and others were able to get Russell out of the vehicle and into a safe situation, Barrett shot a flare gun to set a house on fire and then fled into the woods.

Barrett also shot at a emergency helicopter that was responding to the scene and a law enforcement officer told the newspaper that two cars at the house were also burning.

A manhunt with more than 50 officers from the SBI, surrounding sheriff’s offices and police departments, State Highway Patrol and the N.C. Wildlife Commission then took place.

“SWAT team officers from the Wilkes Sheriff’s Department, the Wilkesboro Police Department and the SBI made contact with Barrett [before 11 a.m.], who was eventually shot to death,” according to the paper.