Deputies remain on admin leave

Published 10:47 am Monday, August 8, 2016

JACKSON – When Northampton County deputies answered a July 29 call to respond to the Faison residence on Big John Store Road, that address was all too familiar.

On at least one previous occasion, Northampton deputies had responded to that same residence in reference to a domestic violence situation. What made July 29 response different was that those deputies had to resort to the use of deadly force in an effort to protect their lives.

Two Northampton County Sheriff’s deputies – Sergeant Christopher Collier and Deputy Teodore Antunez Jr. – remain on administrative leave while the SBI investigates the fatal shooting of Melvin Faison.

Upon their arrival at the driveway of the residence, located up a long path off Big John Store Road near Pleasant Hill, the deputies spotted Pamela Faison, who reported that her husband, 59-year-old Melvin Faison, had assaulted her physically and also stuck a pistol in her stomach and threatened to kill her.

The woman was safely secured at a neighbor’s home as the deputies made their way to the Faison residence. There, the deputies attempted to arrest Mr. Faison, but he pointed a handgun at the lawmen.

The deputies retreated and set up a perimeter in an attempt to make the arrest without the use of deadly force. A short time later, Mr. Faison exited the home and pointed a handgun at Collier and Antunez. On this occasion, the two deputies shot at Faison, who went back inside.

Assisted by SBI teams trained to deal with these kinds of standoffs, the SBI Northeastern District Agents, Special Response Team (SRT) members, Bomb Squad and Hostage Negotiators responded to the residence.

At approximately 3:30 a.m., SRT made entry into the home and discovered that Faison had apparently been struck by bullets fired earlier by the deputies and was deceased.

Northampton Sheriff Jack Smith said this is not the first time his office has responded to domestic violence calls at this residence.

Smith stated that Mr. Faison has been arrested previously on domestic violence charges.

He also said that on previous occasions the charges were dismissed. He didn’t know why specifically Mr. Faison’s charges had been dismissed, but said it is usually because the complainant refuses to testify against the defendant.

Smith added that it is protocol and standard operating procedure for officers to be placed on administrative leave in officer-involved shootings.