A suspect is on the loose after shooting a citizen and a deputy in Lenoir County.
According to a 12:30 PM update from the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office, 30-year-old Robert Lee Strother is still on the run. The sheriff’s office had located the stolen red 2003 Dodge Dakota extended cab pickup truck, but Strother was nowhere nearby. Strother reportedly shot the truck’s owner multiple times during the theft. The latest victim was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition.
Strother is also accused of shooting a Lenoir County Sheriff’s deputy who was responding to a domestic call in La Grange overnight. The deputy, K-9 officer Steven Keys, was already treated and released from UNC Lenoir.
The Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office says it is maintaining a perimeter along the Kennedy Home Road corridor; to the north, Snake Road and to the south, Lang Skinner Road. The evacuated residents in that area are advised to not return to their homes until Strother is apprehended.
A State Highway Patrol helicopter has been called in to help locate Strother. The SBI and FBI have also been called in to assist with the search.
Lenoir County residents are asked to be on the lookout for Strother, who is considered armed and extremely dangerous.