WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office says a chase that ended with the shooting death of a wanted man started when detectives saw the suspect not far from where they say he shot a deputy Thursday.
Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer says Det. E.K. Edwards and Det. J.L. Jewell saw a car Sunday they believed had Brandon Devone Smith in it driving on Princess Place Drive. Law enforcement had been looking for Smith since they say he shot Det. Michael Spencer in Creekwood.
But Smith's estranged wife sees things differently.
Brewer says Edwards and Jewell followed the dark grey Chevrolet Impala up N. 23rd Street onto Blue Clay Rd. The car then turned onto Bermuda Dr. That's when investigators say it began to speed to get away from the deputies. At that point Brewer says the officers turned on their blue lights and sirens and kept following the car down Bermuda Dr. onto Castle Hayne Rd. The vehicle then turned onto Carl Seittler Drive, then onto Fulbright Street where it dead ends.
Brewer said at that point both men in the car jumped out and began to run. The driver, Vincent Albert Joyner, 39, was quickly taken into custody. Smith ran into the woods, and detectives chased him, Brewer said. While in the woods, shots were fired and Smith was killed.
Edwards, who has been with the Sheriff's Office since 2000, and Jewell, who joined the department in 1998, are on administrative leave pending a review of the case. The SBI in handling the investigation.
Joyner is charged with speeding to elude arrest and accessory after the fact.
But Smith’s estranged wife says she does not think he shot Spencer.
"I don't even think he shot the deputy. I think they are just blaming him. They said they were looking for him," Lindsey Smith said. "So, instead of getting him and taking him into custody they shot him down and murdered him."