Family looking for answers after fatal standoff

BLADEN COUNTY -- Earlier this week a standoff in Bladen County started with an agitated man with a gun. It ended with officers shooting and killing Tom Adams. Now his family is searching for answers. Monday at Adams's house in Bladen County law enforcement officers surrounding the house, Adams was on the porch with a gun. Days later his family members mourn his death. Steve Ludlum is Adams's brother-in-law. He says Adams had no history of mental health problems, and that he never saw him behave the way he did on Monday. Ludlum said, "I kind of looked up to him as a father figure, because I was young when he came into the family. He took me hunting, fishing." Adams's wife of 39 years, Mary Frances, says five days before he died, her husband suddenly decided to stop taking his eight-or-so medications. She said, "He was on blood pressure medication, he later became a diabetic, he was on diabetic medication and he had to take a diabetic shot." Mary Frances says Adams was a strong-willed man who was going to do what he wanted to. "I thought, well, you can't make anyone do anything they don't want," she said. Bladen County Sheriff Stephen Bunn says law enforcement officers returned fire only after Adams shot in their direction. Adams's family claims he only fired into the air. Chief Deputy Phillip Little says the deputies were justified in using their firearms. Adams's family wishes other options were used. Dale Adams is Adams's son. He said, "It's hard. I don't really know what to say. There's nothing you can say to bring daddy back." Medical experts say suddenly going off as many medications, as Adams did, is extremely risky. But they say there is really way of knowing exactly what effect that had on Adams.

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I really feel for this family at their time of loss but do not feel LEO did anything that could have been prevented except by Mr.Adams which he chose not to do. It seems to me that he just got more upset as time drug on. What I don't understand is if reading all this is so upsetting and hurtful to family members, why do they continue to come to this site and read it? Why not ignore it and let people have their opinions? You say he did not have any mental problems but when you start shooting at the police whether it is in the air or directly at them you have to be a little OFF because anyone in their right mind knows what is going to happen.
IT'S NICE TO SEE ALL THESE CONCERNED FAMILY MEMBERS POINTING THEIR FINGERS. BUT WHERE WAS THE SO CALLED "FAMILY" DAYS , WEEKS, MONTHS PRIOR TO THE INCIDENT. SOUNDS LIKE THE FAMILY IS BLAMING SOMEONE ELSE TO GET RID OF THE BLAME.
We are NOT pointing our fingers at anyone else! However we are indeed saying uncle Tommy was done wrong that day .. LEO,SBI, whoever could have done things COMPLETLEY different. Get things right! we are not blaming anyone else..its not our faults so therefore we should not be blaming ourselves! We tried to get him help.. and were assured he would be helped. Get the facts correct before you decide to post anything else that you DONT know about!
You sound like you know it all and have it all figured out. BRAVO,*round of applause* on such a great job! May God continue to bless you and keep you and your family safe.
I don't know if this will be posted, as lately I've been being censored for being too hardnose. Here's the fact those of you arguing about an intentional wounding don't understand. You cannot shoot only to "wing 'em" without undermining the entire justification for applying deadly force. I don't care if you're an SBI sniper or a private citizen, the law allows you to use deadly force to protect yourself or a third party from death or grievous bodily injury. You have to be truly in fear that someone is going to die. If you try to apply "kinda-sorta deadly force," you immediately open yourself up to a charge that, You weren't TRULY in fear for your life, or you wouldn't have shot him in the knee cap." Indeed, the whole purpose of applying deadly force is to END the confrontation immediately, not to simply kill the suspect. You don't end the confrontation immediately without applying DEADLY force is a manner that is going to destroy an essential organ (i.e., heart or brain) or cause an immense drop in blood pressure, causing rapid unconsciousness. The confrontation only ends when the suspect no longer poses a threat. Mister Adams was the sole orchestrator of what happened in Bladenboro. It's sad that a man who was so well thought of did what he did, but it's ludicrous to fault law enforcement for doing the job they were forced to do.
with you Commonsensenotc... I have posted a few also in the last couple of days and it seems as though somebody is being a little nit picky. I have had a few denied that were justified in the past but not recently.....just thought I would put it out there that you are not alone.
The truth WILL come out. I just pray that my family will find the strength to hold their heads high and not stoop to the disgusting lows that the citizens of this community have done by the hurtful and rude remarks that have been made about Tommy and my family! RIP Tommy, I love you and I will miss you greatly!!
Mr. Adams was not out to hurt the public. He was on his OWN land in his OWN house. I do not believe Mr. Adams was shooting directly at the LEO. Sure he may have fired up in the air. If Mr. Adams would of wanted to injure a LEO he would have. Mr. Adams was an avid marksman. He had well over 50 yrs. of experience. You could throw a dime up in the air and he could of hit it with a .22 rifle. You YANKEES just don't understand.
You don't have to hit or even shoot at the police, all you have to do is point the weapon towards them and they have the right to fire.
Agian, if he would have wanted to kill some one he would have. So maybe he was outside and they couldnt use the tear gas. Ok. The trained sharp shooters should have shot him in the leg or some where else besides the chest. Or maybe they should have fired a time back at him "without hitting him". That maybe would have made him scared and would have let him know that the police will shoot back. I know he did not want to kill anyone. He is a good man. He didnt not hit any body with those bullets.
Shoot him in the leg? That way he would still have control of his weapon and be more agitated than ever and if his mind set was still the same someone else would have been injured at that point. LEO did what they had to do. End of story.
You don't have to hit or even shoot at the police, all you have to do is point the weapon towards them and they have the right to fire.
I am so sorry for this family, to lose a loved one, and hopefully all will come out when an investigation is done, but it still comes down to one thing. This man was a danger to himself and to others around him and he needed to be stopped. Maybe some other way could have been found; it is always easier to look back at something after it has happened and say what if? This man made a choice to go off his medicine - unfortunately with serious consequences. Could the family have done more? Not according to his wife. She said that he did whatever he wanted and wouldn't listen to anyone. I guess that included the police. He could have stopped when they told him to, but he didn't and unfortunately they had to act to keep him from hurting anyone else.
I agree with the person who wrote this. This man was a danger to hisself as well as any family around him after taking it into his own hands to stop taking his medication that was ordered bye a licenced doctor. When you put your self in harms way this away, what more can you expect. I can tell you one thing though. Anyone should know better then to firer at, toward, or around a leo person, without them reacatting to it as a threat of threat to their life. No days you have to be more careful with what you are dealing with, no matter who you are, to many crazy people out running around lose. Not saying this man was crazy, just stating my opinion on life it's self now days.
do you personally know this man? If not maybe you should sit back and think if this was part of your family what would you be thinking, and i will say now and forever dont talk if you dont know what you are talking about. did he shoot at u? were you there? ok amybe you shouldnt speak if you have nothing nice to say! thanks
you or no one knows just who i know. I was not being ruid or saying anything out of the wrong about this man. I knew the family.
I guess that says it all right there. We southerners are pure T hard in the head. I am not assuming he was backed into a corner. But, if you have ever seen one of us backed into a corner......... well, it sounds like his wife did all she could. Let it rest, for there was a southerner's life (the wife) at stake it sounds like.
If this wasn't necessary, why was BLE called? This didn't start with the BLE. It started at home with his family. It got so out of hand at home the family it felt necessay to call the BLE. If they had never let it get to this point he would still be here. Don't look for someone else to put your blame on.
The simple answer is "Don't point a weapon at the police."
If Officers could have used other methods to stop the shooter thay would have, you can't use pepper spray to stop him because he wass to far away ( the same with a tazer)and firing a weapon, you cant use rubber bullets becasue that is mainly used when the person is using a knife and in this case he would get more aggrivated just like he did when they tryed to negotiate. I mean when you have bullets wizzing by your head (which did happen) and believe me they did let it happen alot in the six hours they were sitting there risking there lives to save a man and others, when he was firing directly at them! THAT DID TAKE ALOT OF COURAGE. But if they hadn't have taken him down who knows how many officers may have been shot, or the family members? They did wait as long as possible and believe me no man or woman wants to live with the thought of taking someones life. But they did as they were trained to do, "save all that you can". Its horrible that this family has to suffer a loss but what would have happened if cops would have let him keep going? and just for the record the man was NOT shot but twice. And last but not least it doesn't matter if he has a history or mental illness, he still was shooting at innocent people. now how innocent was he? theres a time and a place for everything and i do believe they took the right action to save all they could, even though it meant taking his life.
I encourage all who seem to think that a leg shot would have been the appropriate method of ending this standoff put on a uniform, answer a 911 call, risk your lives and respond to an active shooter situation. I would like to see you bring a Tazer to a gun fight. Do you think the man was firing rubber bullets at the Police. The man is dead because he flipped out. Period. He ran his wife out of the house, he was a danger and a threat to the community, he fired several times while the Police were present( I don't care if it was up in the air as you claim, where do you think the bullets go, Magical AmmoLand?). I'm sorry for your loss, but clearly this family needs to get back on their medication. The Police/SBI will be cleared. Based on initial reports this sounds like a very clean shooting on their part meaning that they acted as any agency would have done. The family sounds like they are already thinking green from soon to be filed Civil suit. Where was the family the week prior to this incident?
Where are these so called "initial reports" you refer too? Would you mind sharing these with the family, because the family can't get a reply from BCSD/SBI. Oh, by the way, the family appreciates the derogatory comments made by you! As with everything, everyone has freedom of speech and you have the right to comment as you wish, just remember everything you say and do comes back three-fold. Whether it be positive or negative. I think that we can agree on one thing...We agree to disagree.
i have been in law enforcement in another state and the way we deal with a situation like this is to use tear gas to flush the suspect out but obviously the training your troopers get is not up to standards. i really think that this could have been prevented if handled differently. But only god knows for sure what happened and he will deal with those needed to be dealt with in his own way
Any post that starts off with "the way we used to do it up north" is illegal here in the NC. Don't like the way we deal with hostiles then go home (if they will take you back).
Why don't you state what type of law enforcement you were in. First they are not Troopers they are Deputies. Secondly, if you had any experience, you would know, no two situations are ever the same. The suspect dictates what can and will be done based on his decisions and actions. Coming outside and shooting at the Deputies leads to one response. Shooting back in self defense to stop the threat against you and the public. If the family had taken the simple step of removing all firearms from the house, this would never have happened. Now all want to point their fingers at Law Enforcement for doing their job. Thanks again for all the support, but don't worry we'll come when your in trouble.
I take exception to your views on the training of our Law Enforcement Officer training in this state. North Carolina has some of the best trained officers in the United States. I don't know where you came from and I don't know how long you were in law enforcement. But, I do know if you were not at the scene, that you cannot and should not critize members of Law Enforcement for the job that they did. I am a retired member of the North Carolina Highway Patrol and I had very close friends that were at the scene that day. I know what they were facing, because I have been there in the past. After reading your post, it is evident that you have never been faced with such a task. I am sorry for the family and all that they are going through. But, it could have been many families suffering. Oh, by the way, We use a capital "G" when we refer to God.
GUEST5656 FIRST OFF, THEY WEREN'T 'TROOPERS,' THEY WERE DEPUTIES. TROOPER IS A TERM APPLIED TO THE HIGHWAY PATROL. AND I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE TRAINING YOU RECEIVED, BUT I AM TRAINED TO POINT MY GUN WHEN SOMEONE POINTS THEIRS, AND SHOOT WHEN THEY SHOOT. GO BACK OUTSIDE AND HUG THAT TREE YOU JUST LEFT, IT MISSES YOU, I HOWEVER AM GOING TO DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET ME HOME AT THE END OF MY SHIFT. AN 'UNNECESSARY SHOOTING' AS YOU SO ELEGANTLY DESCRIBED THIS ONE, OCCURS WHEN SOMEONE IS UNARMED. NOT WHEN AN ARMED SUBJECT FIRES A WEAPON IN THE PRESENCE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT. I DON'T CARE IF HE WAS SHOOTING IN THE AIR OR NOT. I AM SORRY FOR THE FAMILY'S LOSS, BUT THIS WAS AN ADULT WHO MADE AN ADULT DECISION AND PAID FOR IT.
How can you use tear gas to flush someone out when they are already standing on the porch? He came outside....then fired at the officers. If you have truly been in LE you would know that these officers did not have any other choice
Unnecessary? It didn't matter whether they flushed him out or not, when he did come out, he came out shooting. You think they should have let him keep shooting until he hit someone? I think it's common sense that if someone is shooting at the police, the police are going to shoot back. I don't know much about the Bladen County Sheriff's Dept., but the SBI agents are probably the best trained LEO's in the State. Just their basic training takes six months. And it's not just class for a few hours a day. They live at the NC Justice Academy, and only get to go home to their families on weekends. It's a lot more comprehensive that the BLET most officers receive as their basic training.
if they the so called law enforcement officers only knew tommy like we do he would still be here. joe russ & brother