A Caldwell County murder suspect was shot and killed during an encounter with Wilkes County Sheriff’s Deputies Friday night. Thomas Charlie Billings, in his mid-30s, died outside a mobile home near the end of Traphill Ridge Road after being shot by at least one Wilkes Deputy.
Wilkes Sheriff Chris Shew says Billings pointed a rifle at deputies when they found him outside the mobile home. The Officers didn’t realize it was a pellet rifle until after he was shot.“ They told him to put it (the rifle) down multiple times and he kept raising it up at them,” the sheriff said. Billings didn’t fire the weapon, added Shew. Shew declined to say how many deputies fired their weapons, how many shots were fired or how many shots hit Billings. He said an autopsy is being conducted.
In accordance with Wilkes Sheriff’s Office policy for an officer-involved shooting, the State Bureau of Investigation was contacted to investigate the incident. SBI agents, as well as Shew, were on the scene.
Emergency medical personnel attempted to revive Billings at the scene. Wilkes Emergency Medical Services was dispatched at 11:40 p.m. Friday. Traphill Fire Department first responders also were dispatched.
Shew said Billings had lived on Traphill Ridge Road in the past but didn’t know if the mobile home near where deputies found him was his residence at the time of his death. Shew also said he was told that the person who died in the murder in Caldwell earlier Friday was Billings girlfriend or wife and that it was especially violent. No additional details were immediately available on the Caldwell case.
Story: Wilkes Journal Patriot