JONESVILLE — The manhunt is over for a suspected shooter who law enforcement says exchanged gunfire with Wilkes County deputies, injuring one deputy, early Monday morning.

According to information from the State Bureau of Investigation, James Monroe Barrett, 60, of 3659 Bethel Road, Jonesville, exchanged gunfire with deputies responding to a domestic dispute involving Barrett. Officials also believe Barrett set a house on fire before retreating to the woods, with law enforcement in pursuit.

Barrett was reported dead at the scene.

In a press conference with Wilkes County Operations Major David Carson, Carson reported that deputies were fired upon once they arrived at the scene. Wilkes Sergeant Steven Russell, a 12-year veteran with the force, sustained injuries before being airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Carson stated during the conference that Sgt. Russell is “doing well” after sustaining a gunshot wound to the shoulder.

According to Eric Morrison, director of Wilkes County EMS, at about 5:55 a.m. Wilkes County EMS was dispatched to a reported gunshot in the 700 block of North River Ridge Road. Wilkes County EMS transported a total of three patients from the scene, including one patient transported earlier by ground to Wake Forest Baptist.

A patient who had refused earlier transport has now been taken to Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital in Elkin with non-life threatening injuries. One additional person was evaluated on the scene but not transported. The suspect was pronounced deceased on the scene and was not transported.

Dark smoke could be seen against a backdrop of overcast skies Monday morning from where the reported shooting occurred. The deputy was airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, according to officials.

According to the SBI, Barrett received medical attention for the injuries he sustained during the standoff with law enforcement.

The incident occurred between Clingman and Jonesville, and much of Bethel Road was blocked to traffic during the manhunt.

The investigation is ongoing.

Elkin Tribune
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