North Carolina man charged in shooting of deputy

Published 10:30 am Saturday, October 9, 2021

A North Carolina man has been charged after a deputy was shot and wounded as he and two others went to serve him an involuntary commitment order, a sheriff’s office said.

Robert Joseph Westrup, 41, of New Bern appeared in court on Monday on charges of assault on law enforcement with a deadly weapon and attempted first-degree murder, news outlets reported.

Three Craven County sheriff’s deputies went to serve Westrup on Friday, October 1 after his family expressed concern. According to the sheriff’s office, Westrup refused to cooperate and ran upstairs in the home before he fired on the deputies who followed him inside. He hit deputy Zachary Bellingham, who was hospitalized after being shot in the stomach. The sheriff’s office said Westrup suffered a gunshot wound after he exchanged gunfire with the deputies, who were trapped inside a room.

Additional law enforcement and emergency personnel arrived, and tear gas was used to force Westrup to come out of the home, a news release said. He was taken into custody without further incident.

Westrup requested a court-appointed attorney and is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 14. He is jailed on a $2 million bond.

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