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Bladen County standoff has deadly end

READ MORE: Bladen County standoff has deadly end
It's not how these things are supposed to end. The standoff started at mid-morning off Center Road near Butler Mill Road. The sheriff says an agitated 63-year-old Thomas Adams ran his wife out of the house. She ran to a neighbor's house and called police while he holed up inside with at least one gun. Steve Ludlum tried to talk his brother-in-law out to no avail. Police continued to gather and tighten the perimeter. The State Bureau of Investigation Special Response Team moved in. Ludlam says police made him leave; "They said once they got the perimeter secured they'd come back and get me to get the negotiators in to negotiate with him. The next I heard about ten minutes later, everything broke loose. They shot him down like a dog." Bladen County Sheriff Stephen Bunn says officers had no choice but to open fire on Thomas Adams. "Around five o'clock he came out of the house with a gun. Officers in the woods tried to negotiate with him but instead he shot in the direction and they returned fire, striking him. He was transported to southeastern general hospital." Family members were understandably upset with the fatal outcome. Ludlam says it could have been prevented. "He's not been on his medication for about a week. They just went overboard today. All this was unnecessary." Its handling will be investigated. Crime scene techs started working the area shortly after the standoff had ended.

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RIP

Thomas Adams was my uncle. He was also my next door neighbor for 28years, until I moved. He was not a bad person. He was never violent to make us think he would do something like this. He had access to guns because he was a deer hunter. Mr.Ludlum and my family is upset because we were lied to. I do understand the law enforcement has to protect themselves but how many shots does it take to kill someone??? One shot will do it, he did not need 30!!!! Don't be so fast to pass judgment. People can trash my family but we are all human beings. You never know how you will react until it happens to your family!!!!!!!!!! RIP UNCLE TOMMY---YOU WILL BE MISSED

sorry

To KodiakRN, I am so sorry for your family's loss. I am from Bladenboro too and I can tell you that I have never even heard a harm word spoken against Mr. Adams in my entire 35 years in Bladenboro. I know Dale and your extended family as well. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

RIP Mr. Adams

I am so sorry for your loss... This reminds me of what happend in Dublin not too long ago when officers tasered a young man to the point of death. In which wasn't the first death to take place due to tasering and it will not be the last.We have way too many Barney's that jump at the chance for a few minutes or few lines of fame due to overkill in situations like this however their heads turn from all the crack on our streets that is taking control of our children. The System is messed up and has been that way for quite some time. You have to think a little.... You back a dog in a corner he is going to come out fighting, you back off and give him some room he becomes calmer. Looks like some major training issues were the cause of Mr. Adams death, not Mr. Adams or his family. There is no doubt that the lack of Organizational skills and Psychology Training was not present in this situation. If it had been then Mr. Adams death would have been prevented. The family has been bashed enough from some of these inconsiderate and embarrassing comments. No one deserves to be shot too pieces! Even serial killers and rapist receives better treatment and negotiations than what Mr. Adams received. All he got was a bunch of red neck Barney's that were trigger happy and were eager to be the one to bring him down and then they didn't even have enough sense and training too know when too stop.... just like the tasering incident. I see some patterns taking shape here don't you???

Training?

do you know the amount of training that the officers involved had? I do and I can assure you that there were some of the best trained and most experienced officers in the state at the scene. So unless you were there and unless you know the level of training that these officers have, please refrain from using that as your argument. Also when John Q public such as yourself refers to them as "Barney's" that shows the lack of respect that you have for law enforcement which only makes things worse for everyone. I can also assure you that no one involved in this did it for the fame as you suggest. They were doing a job they were trained to do and if the suspect had surrended his weapon and submitted as was requested on multiple occasions he would still be alive today. Dont forget he had a gun and was firing too.

Aren't guns great?

The only thing guns are good for is keeping law enforcement officers employed.

How long should law enforcement wait?

Here are the cold, hard facts in these types of confrontation: Waiting does not insure a good outcome. There are many, many cases where waiting ends in disaster. Fatigue sets in for all involved. You may recall the case from Los Angeles a few years ago, where officers were waiting out a hostage situation that had gone on for over ten hours. When the gunman started firing, police killed him....and his two year-old infant son, the hostage. Some of those officers had been there, in position, for the entire ten hours. That's but one case where "ending it early" would have saved a life. There are many more. How about cost? Please, no rhetoric about "you can't place a cost on a human life." Let's stick to fiscal REALITY. The Bladen County Sheriff is actually lucky that Adams pushed the issue and forced an end to the stand-off. Considering the manpower needed to assist the SBI, control the perimeter, close the adajacent roads, evacuate nearby residences, and all the other requirements an operation like this entails, he could have well exhausted his ANNUAL overtime budget on this one incident - and it's only February. "Waiting" in the absence of any indication that waiting will result in a peaceful surrender is foolish. Whether due to criminal intent or mental illness, when it becomes obvious that an armed suspect is not going to follow orders and surrender, it's best to end the sitaution when an opportunity presents itself.

Off Meds

Sorry don't try to blame the police. First off you called them there. Second if you KNEW for a WHOLE WEEK that this man was off his meds and wasn't acting normal then why was there a loaded gun laying around. Third of all I'm sorry but if I'm a cop and you point a loaded gun at me and shoot and I know your off your meds on top of all that I hate to tell you I'm not going to wait around to see what your gonna do next!

Unless you were there, you

Unless you were there, you have no right to judge. I am a family member of the deceased and it sickens me the way you people pass judgement so quickly without fully understanding the circumstances. The fact of the matter is this man was shot at from three different directions and about 30 or more shots were fired at him. Does anyone not see that this was uncalled for? If their intent was to kill him, they had "trained professionals" there and they could have done it with one shot...just one....not 30 or more. They had a couple of occassions to subdue him and they didn't. He was calm, sitting down and didn't have a firearm in his hand. So, now you can get a idea of why the family is so upset. And for Mr Ludlum, they lied to him and told him they wanted him to step away from the house and they would give him a means to communicate with them, so they could negotiate and when he steped away they would not let him go back. Surely, you could sympathize with him and understand why he said what he said on camera. Everything the family was told yesterday was a LIE!

He came out with a gun and

He came out with a gun and fired at law enforcement. They responded as they should have, all he needed to do was exit unarmed. He made a fatal mistake.

Did you care to comment about...

...why the family let him stop taking his medications, and why they let him keep a firearm? That's what folks really want to know, because that's where most blame lies.

Containment?

Since when did containment mean rush the house? Over aggressive tactics caused someone to die when they didn't have too. All of you that have already shot off your mouths commenting here must be of the same mind set. Maybe the cops should come and rush your place because you clearly show a lack of common sense. Must be a Democrat thing!

May God bless and touch this

May God bless and touch this family during this hard time.

shot

If Mr.Ludlum thought Mr.Adams meant no harm to anyone....why didn't he go in and try to talk to him? Also, if Mr. Adams was on medication that would make him do something like this why didn't his family take action before all this occured since they knew he was not taking it? Should the situation have been reversed and one of the police officers had been Mr. Ludlum's family member, would he have said they did the right thing to protect themselves?

Shot at home

This sad story is deja vu all over again. A couple of years ago John Lewis of Castle Hayne exited his home on command by Deputies and was shot and killed for carrying the cell phone used to negotiate the stand off with the New Hanover County Sheriff. The deputies mistook the cell phone for a gun and shot the crippled man to death. In this case Mr. Adams was said to be firing in the direction of LEO, suicide by cop perhaps but who will ever know? The law now requires the SBI to investigate any shooting death. I suspect even though the SBI did the killing it is fair? that they investigate their own? How hard is it to wait the guy out? RIP Peyton Strickland

LEO obviously had no choice

If they didn't want the police there they should not have called them. Then they are going to blame LEO for this guys death. This is just another case of someone putting the blame on someone else so they don't have to blame the person that is actually responsible for the whole thing. I wonder what Ludlam wanted the police to do? The man comes outside what a weapon and opens fire at the officers. Of course they are going to shoot back. I really do feel sorry for the family, but enough is enough on blaming LEO

Sad

I feel bad for this family and law enforcement. That's not the ending the BCSD/SBI tried to have. Hard part of this is they were indeed shot at more than once at different times during this standoff.That part is not mentioned in the report here. They were trying to get this person medical help but it just did not happen....if they could have they would have taken him to get help. It's a sad ending for everyone. I don't think I'm going out on a limb saying , nobody is enjoying the coffee this morning.

Blame the man in the mirror

Thomas Adams wasn't "shot down like a dog," he was engaged by trained police sharpshooters after he fired at them. "He's not been on his medication for about a week. they just went overboard today. All this was unneccessary." That's pretty bold talk when YOU'RE not the one being shot at, Mister Ludlam. But you're right, it was all unnecessary. The FAMILY had an obligation to insure that: A. An obvioulsy disturbed individual took his medication and B. Didn't have access to a firearm. Hence, the family is far more to blame for his death than the law enforcement officers defending their own lives.

shot

but, why did the cops confront him if he was in his own yard, did he have people in the house he was holding, and why did they not go away?????, if they kept getting closer, he felt threaten, the cops did not do the right thing, in this case, they corner a caged man and he did what, he thought was protecting himself. why not shoot for the leg, these are trained people and they shot to kill, not wound???????, It is time someone takes resonsiblity for when wrong is done to a mentally ill citezens, cops just shoot them.

go away?

When Law Enforcement are called to a scene where a domestic has taken place, they just don't leave or go away as you put it. What if they had just left and this man for some reason turned the gun on his wife.... .Everyone would blame Law Enforcement for not doing there job. If they stay and try to resolve the situation they are blamed. You know they are asked to act like professionals and up hold the law, but why is it that when they are asked to risk our life that they are the ones put on trial by the public usually the ones that placed the call ...... This is a sad situation and I'm truly sorry for the family and everyone that was involved. I believe that someone said (they went overboard today). Yes Sir when an officer arrives to a scene to up hold the law and YOU hear him yelling on the radio because he his on the ground taking fire from a suspect not knowing what is going to happen next..... Yes Sir I'd say it just went overboard and they have to do what is needed to protect themselves as well as the rest of the community they serve. Alot of times people are quick to blame leo, If everyone has the answer to how they should handle each call why is it that everyone is not in law enforcement. No single person in law enforcement wants an incident like this to take place, but if it does you have assume that they will protect theirselves as well...... Again I'm very sorry for the family and everyone that was involved....

go away?

When Law Enforcement are called to a scene where a domestic has taken place, they just don't leave or go away as you put it. What if they had just left and this man for some reason turned the gun on his wife.... .Everyone would blame Law Enforcement for not doing there job. If they stay and try to resolve the situation they are blamed. You know they are asked to act like professionals and up hold the law, but why is it that when they are asked to risk our life that they are the ones put on trial by the public usually the ones that placed the call ...... This is a sad situation and I'm truly sorry for the family and everyone that was involved. I believe that someone said (they went overboard today). Yes Sir when an officer arrives to a scene to up hold the law and YOU hear him yelling on the radio because he his on the ground taking fire from a suspect not knowing what is going to happen next..... Yes Sir I'd say it just went overboard and they have to do what is needed to protect themselves as well as the rest of the community they serve. Alot of times people are quick to blame leo, If everyone has the answer to how they should handle each call why is it that everyone is not in law enforcement. No single person in law enforcement wants an incident like this to take place, but if it does you have assume that they will protect theirselves as well...... Again I'm very sorry for the family and everyone that was involved....

Just go away

I would assume the police didn't "just go away" because his wife called them and they were obligated to investigate a reportedly armed and dangerous man - Not just leave him alone and risk him hurting himself or others.

I saw...you can't be serious

Weapons are deadly force. They are not used to wound someone. If an officer is using his weapon it is used to kill. Why were the police there? Because the wife called the police. Why didn't the police leave? Because they have an obligation to try and help someone that is a threat to themselves or others. I would love to know how this man was able to obtain a gun. Anyone that lives in that house should be fined for that. I saw...it's people like you, ones that want to blame LEO for everything, that are the problem with society today. I bet you don't know how to take accountability for your own actions etiher.

were you there

were you there when you say yes and that you heard the 30 shot being fired then you can have a say in this crazy scene that happen in my home town, I saw, it was not pretty,

Say what you want....if you

Say what you want....if you shoot at police, the police are going to shoot back at you. And like I said earlier, police are not trained to shoot to wound. They shoot to kill. A firearm is a deadly weapon and that is what it's used for.

Statisically the police wound far more

Statistically the police wound far more in shootings than they actually kill. So there goes your theory! If they were trained a bit better then they might actually have had the sense to handle this in a more appropriate way.

to all the disrespectful people

I am appauled at all of these rude and hateful comments that are being posted. I am hoping that the people leaving these are maybe oblivious of the fact that Tommy Adam's family members may be reading these. He was my uncle and i can not believe that people have no regards to anyone when they are going through such a rough time. Maybe when the shoes are on different feet maybe you will see how hurtful you have been in ignoring the fact that what happened on Monday was a total and complete tragedy no matter which point of view you look at it from. it should NOT have went as far as it did. There is no way in this world anyone can justify why he was killed..NOT ONE! Uncle Tommy was a good man. People can try and justify the situation and say oh he asked for it.. no he did NOT he didnt asked to be shot to death .. he made some mistakes that day yes but it is NOBODY's place to comment on the events that took place when they want to be completely rude about it. Do you not have any self respect? THEY NEED TO STOP! Its hurtful to all of our family when you have the nerve to say he asked for it and saying that the family is to blame because we knew he stopped taking his medication. WHY would you even say something like that? Apparentley you know none of the facts and do not care about anyone else's feelings when a member of their family is killed.

LEO are easily justified

Most people are not saying your Uncle asked for what he got. Just like some of your family is blaming LEO, these people are just defedning what LEO did. And yes, it's easy to justify why your Uncle was shot. You cannot expect LEO to be shot and and not return fire. It's a sad sitatuation, but your Uncle brougt it on himself. His actions alone led to his death. LEO did what they had to do to protect themselves and everyone else around. Sorry for your loss, but the blame should be put on your Uncle and not LEO. Again, people need to take responsibility for their actions and stop trying to blame others

It's common sense

Your theory has no basis. Those that were wounded by officers were wounded by chance. They are lucky to be alive. I assure you the officers were not trying to just wound those people. And as far as officers being bad shots, maybe...but it's kind of hard to judge. For one, officer are on the range 1 or 2 days a year and fire off around 100 rounds at a time. Most bad guys have more free time to spend practicing. Think about how much money it would cost if our officers went out and practiced ones a month. You've got a couple hundred officers that need practice. Where does the money come from to pay for the ammo? Also, have you ever stood there while someone was shooting at you. It's easy to sit back and criticize officer and how well they shoot when you aren't the one being shot at. I would love to see how well you could return fire while being shot at yourself and knowing you very easily could be killed.

No criticism, just fact....

...and yes, I've shot men while I was under fire. Trust me when I say that police officers in general are notoriously bad marksmen. That's not a criticism, it's an observation based upon many, many years, and it's more of an indictment on their departmental policies than on the individual officers. The individual officers would love to spend more time on the range and increase their proficiency. That's also not to say that there are no great shots in law enforcement. I've known some truly amazing individuals. I'm sure that the aforementioned SBI HRT (or whatever they call themselves) are not exactly slackers when it comes to skill with their weapons. But when you consider that the majority of officers in cities like Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles have never even picked up a handgun until it is issued to them in the academy, and they will received less than eighty hours instruction in marksmanship (to include actual range time) before they are sent out on the street, you can see why there are so many woundings on a national average. I'm a firm believer in quarterly re-qual. Too bad the realities of budget and headcount preclude that in most departments.

I'm not saying officers are

I'm not saying officers are the best shooters, but they do have a qualifiation minimum they have to follow. I believe the state minimum score is a 70. NHSO requires all their deputies to score at least a 75 and those on the street an 85. But numbers aside, I don't care how good of a shot you are, when someone is shooting back at you, it's not very easy to stand there, take aim, and shoot