SBI nears end of shooting probe

Case will then head to district attorney

By Mike Gellatly -

LUMBERTON — The investigation into the November shooting of a Bladenboro woman by a Lumberton police officer will be in the hands of the district attorney within a couple of weeks, according to the State Bureau of Investigation.

On the evening of Nov. 22, Officer Daniel Smith shot Rebecca Muse Hunt outside the Dollar General store on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, according to multiple sources. Hunt was struck with several rounds from Smith’s .45-caliber pistol and continues to recover from her injuries.

The investigation has been delayed because Smith and Hunt could not be interviewed after the event, according to the SBI. Smith had a medical procedure scheduled for the day after the incident. Hunt’s injuries and resulting medical treatment prevented an immediate interview.

According to SBI Special Agent Errol Jarman, the person who was shot, whom he did not identify, “is not in a position to be interviewed at this time.” The Robesonian learned Hunt’s identify from family members.

The shooting occurred after Smith responded to a call regarding a suspect in multiple thefts in the West Lumberton area and followed Hunt to the Dollar General, where she allegedly tried to run him over, sources said. Hunt’s family denies that was her intent, saying she panicked after seeing the officer and tried to flee.

The case will move forward to District Attorney Johnson Britt’s office soon, with or without Hunt’s interview, Jarman said.

“At some point we need to review the officer’s actions,” Jarman said. “We will move forward with other witness statements.”

Smith, 32, began working with the Lumberton Police Department in April 2015. He remains on administrative leave, which is standard procedure when officers are involved in shootings.

Lumberton Police Department officials have said they could not comment while the SBI is investigating.

Case will then head to district attorney

By Mike Gellatly

Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly

Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly

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