Hostage situation ends in officer-involved shooting


ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) — A hostage situation and hours-long standoff has ended following an officer-involved shooting in Elizabethtown, according to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspect, later identified at Lance Edward Smith, 37, was airlifted to the hospital and an investigation is underway.

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WWAY Reporter Sydney Bouchelle was on the scene when shots rang out.

Assistant District Attorney Quintin McGee says the incident was domestic but when officers got on scene, it quickly became a hostage situation.

“They found Mr. Smith inside a car at the end of Owens Street,” McGee said. “Inside the car with Mr. Smith, was a victim. A female victim being held at gunpoint.”

WWAY was told by bystanders it was a boyfriend and girlfriend. They also told her that the girlfriend’s sister was sent to help negotiate.

“Officers were able to see in plain view a revolver being held by Mr. Smith,” McGee said. “It appeared to be cocked and held at the victim’s head.”

McGee says the standoff lasted for three hours when Smith finally let the victim go, unharmed, just moments before the shootout.

District Attorney Jon David says the incident ended with an officer-involved shooting.

“The suspect fired upon the officers,” David said. “They returned fire against him and he was hit multiple times. I am told at this point that he is alive.

As far as we know, the hostage is okay and Smith is receiving medical treatment.

David also says the SBI is conducting an investigation which is protocol following a shooting involved law enforcement.

At a press conference at 6 p.m., officials said the Smith underwent surgery and has survived.

McGee says is if Smith recovers, he will be taken into custody.

Officials want everyone to know that they believe this was an isolated incident and the public is safe.

“The public at large is safe tonight, here in Bladen County,” McGee said. “If Mr. Smith does recover, he will be taken into custody.”