Craven County deputy shot during Friday night incident expected to recover; suspect facing numerous charges, SBI investigating


NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes said one deputy was shot and two others were OK after being “roughed up a little bit” during a welfare check Friday night.

The location of the incident was at 165 Crooked Run Drive, just outside of James City. The incident began around 9 p.m. Friday after the sheriff’s office was contacted to serve an Involuntary Commitment Order issued by a magistrate on Robert Joseph Westrup, 41.

After speaking with the deputies, officials said Westrup became noncompliant and rushed to the upstairs area of his house. Deputies followed him and tried to take him into custody before he shot Deputy Zachary Bellingham in the abdomen.

Deputies returned fire with two of them taking cover upstairs in a bedroom. They were unable to move due to where Westrup was located. Other deputies were able to move Bellingham to safety and call for assistance.

Another deputy later came and provided coverage for the two trapped deputies to exit the home. New Bern police, members of the NC State Highway Patrol, members of the State Bureau of Investigation and other officials quickly arrived and tried to talk Westrup to come out of the home.

Tear gas was deployed into the home as a negotiator continued to try to reach Westrup. Westrup soon exited the home and gave up. He was taken into custody without incident.

Bellingham was transported to CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern then flown to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. He had emergency surgery for the gunshot wound and is expected to recover. The extent of his injuries were undetermined as of Saturday evening.

Westrup was also taken to CarolinaEast Medical Center and flown to Vidant Medical for a single gunshot wound. He was treated and released then transported to the Craven County Detention Center.

Westrup is charged with Assault on a Law Enforcement With a Deadly Weapon and Attempted First Degree Murder. He is being held under a two million dollar secured bond. Additional charges will be filed at a later date.

The SBI is investigating at the request of Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes and District Attorney Scott Thomas.


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