WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The search for a man wanted for allegedly shooting a New Hanover County Sheriff's deputy came to a fatal end Sunday.
"Brandon Smith is dead," District Attorney Ben David said during an early evening news conference near the scene where the 30-year-old suspect was shot and killed.
David said Smith was killed after a car chase and foot chase that ended with shots fired. Investigators said Smith shot Det. Michael Spencer in the leg Thursday as Spencer and a Wilmington Police detective, both members of the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, approached Smith and another man in Creekwood. The other man was taken into custody after the shooting, questioned and later released. Smith had been on the run since.
Witnesses say the shooting that killed Smith happened around 4:30 p.m. near Fulbright Road and Carl Seitter Drive in Castle Hayne.
"He was eventually chased into this neighborhood in a car," David said. "That chase continued on foot in a heavily wooded area behind us, and that chase ended after multiple gunshots were fired in that wooded area."
Smith's family gathered nearby to mourn the loss.
Witnesses say they heard the screeching of tires and saw a light colored Crown Victoria speeding into the neighborhood followed by several police. That's when they say they heard several gunshots.
Sheriff Ed McMahon says he will release more information as it becomes available.
"We will release more information including the officers that were involved. I can tell you that no officers were injured," McMahon said. "Det. Spencer is recovering well at the hospital, and if you'll excuse us, we have a lot of work to do."
The State Bureau of Investigations has been called in to investigate, but the DA says this is standard procedure anytime an officer is involved in a shooting.