NCSO deputies reinstated

Published 11:31 am Monday, September 12, 2016

JACKSON – Northampton County Sheriff Jack Smith said Friday he has reinstated two deputies suspended after firing on an armed suspect who perished from his wounds.

The State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) is still investigating the shooting on July 29 in Pleasant Hill, but Smith said an internal investigation was conducted and found no wrongdoing on the part of his two deputies.

He said both officers, Sergeant Christopher Collier and Deputy Teodore Antunez Jr., have been reinstated and “have resumed their normal duties.”

Policy calls for automatic suspension for 30 days, by which time the Sheriff hoped the SBI investigation would be completed, but he said there have been so many homicides being investigated in eastern North Carolina that the SBI couldn’t give him a date for completion.

He feels confident the officers’ actions were correct and that the SBI will also clear them because he and several SBI agents were on the scene of the shooting.

Smith said with his limited resources he wanted all deputies on duty. He waited out the mandatory 30-day suspension, waited a few more days for the SBI report and then reinstated his officers to resume their duties.

The two deputies responded to a domestic assault call at a single-wide trailer off of Big John Store Road on July 29.

Upon their arrival, they spoke with Pamela Faison by the road about ½ a mile from the home. She reported that her husband, Melvin Faison, had assaulted her and threatened her with a handgun.

Sgt. Collier and Dep. Antunez went to the home where Mr. Faison pointed the handgun at them.

The deputies retreated and set up a perimeter in an attempt to make the arrest without resorting to deadly force.

Faison went back inside, but came back outside about an hour later and again pointed a handgun at officers Collier and Antunez.

This time the two officers fired on Faison, who again retreated inside.

Sheriff Smith called the SBI for backup. The SBI sent teams of officers to the scene to deal with a standoff situation.

The SBI’s Special Response Team made entry into the home a few hours later and discovered Faison deceased.

The two officers were put on policy dictated administrative leave.

Sheriff Smith said two weeks ago, “I feel our deputies responded appropriately.”

Sheriff Smith said of the incident, “It is unfortunate the deputies had to use deadly force. However, we expect the deputies to use deadly force when their lives are threatened.”

Neither deputy was injured during the standoff.