Man shot by police after tying up woman, sending children running for help

Police they a man was shot and killed after he opened fire at them in North Carolina. (Source: WECT)
Published: Aug. 19, 2023 at 3:20 PM CDT
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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (WECT/Gray News) - A man in North Carolina was involved in a deadly shooting with police after reportedly going on a crime spree in the area.

WECT reports that William Brent Gilmore, 35, was fatally shot after exchanging fire with deputies and officers Friday afternoon in Wrightsville Beach.

According to authorities, Gilmore was involved in three incidents in Wilmington and another in the Wrightsville area over the last few days.

Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams said the incidents involving Gilmore started Thursday night when shots were fired into a home. No injuries were reported but then an hour later a 54-year-old woman was found shot multiple times in a nearby neighborhood. She was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

Investigators with the Wilmington Police Department started gathering suspect information on Friday morning. They were able to identify the suspect as Gilmore.

Wrightsville Beach Police Chief David Squires said that his agency then responded to a call for service shortly after 12:30 p.m. Friday where officers found shell casings in a driveway of a home.

Squires said a cleaning woman was going to the home with her children when she noticed a black sedan parked in the driveway with a door left open.

She reportedly thought it was someone just trying to park there for free beach access. But then a man, later identified as Gilmore, asked her for assistance to get his keys from a storage room at the property.

Police said Gilmore then shoved the woman into a room of the home and zip tied her.

“She was assaulted. When the children came to check on her a door opened and there was a run-for-your-life situation,” Squires said. “Citizens on the beach were able to render aid to the woman and children that were running from the house.”

A witness told officers that a black sedan with no license plate was spotted leaving the scene.

Police were able to locate Gilmore’s vehicle and a pursuit ensued until he crashed into another vehicle while officers were attempting to stop him.

“At some point during this, he [Gilmore] displayed a firearm towards our law enforcement officers. He exited the vehicle and shots were fired,” Williams said. “And our brave officers and deputies did what they had to do to make this community safe.”

Three New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputies and one Wilmington Police officer exchanged gunfire with Gilmore.

“Unfortunately, the suspect died and succumbed to his injuries,” Williams said.

According to authorities, no members of law enforcement or the public were injured.

District Attorney Ben David has asked the State Bureau of Investigation to investigate the situation.