CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Neighbors described Friday night’s shooting in Craven County that sent two people to the hospital, including a deputy.
“At first we thought he [Westrup] was out and about, because there were police officers going in the middle field over here,” resident Brianna Manzella said. “His neighbor, I messaged her asking if they were okay. They ran across the street because their house was getting shot at.”
Officials said Deputy Zachary Bellingham was shot when Robert Westrup opened fire at the home on Crooked Run Drive. Westrup received a single gunshot wound in the initial exchange of gunfire with deputies after he shot Bellingham, according to officials
Manzella said this wasn’t the first time she was frightened by Westrup.
“It’s definitely scary,” Manzella said. “The day he came to the house, my husband was home from work because I had to pick up my son from school. My keys were in the van when he came. He was out here, and I ran out and grabbed my keys because I didn’t know what he was going to do. So, I called the sheriff, but they said that he wouldn’t give his name at first and he didn’t say that he lived around here. He was in a winter jacket, pants, and everything. And it was the middle of the summer.”
Parents were on high alert Saturday as Friday’s incident brought more attention to the safety of children in the neighborhood.
“The kids were just playing a little bit ago and I was like “Oh they already let the kids out,” Manzella said. “My husband was like “Well he’s gone,” I’m like “That’s true,” I’m still nervous to even come out.”
Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes praised the combined efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies to take Westrup into custody.
“We called in our SRT Team,” Hughes said. “So, I had a lot of cooperation from the surrounding agencies, and I can’t thank them enough, they really came to support us there and that’s why we were able to bring this thing to a resolution somewhat quickly and there were no more injuries. So, for that I’m very thankful.”
Hughes was echoed by Manzella.
“When the SWAT team got here ... over the loudspeaker was like “Put your hands up and everything,” Manzella said. “So, they were definitely kind of frantic, but they took it very well. Everything was very well executed. This world today is just crazy. It’s scary to raise my kids in it.”
Craven County Sheriff’s Office said no officer discharged their weapon after the shooting and no further incidents occurred after Westrup was taken into custody.