ELIZABETHTOWN — A shooting on Saturday, Feb. 13, involving two Bladen County law enforcement officers remains under investigation and the two officers have been on paid administrative leave since the incident.
The two officers have been identified as Bladen County sheriff’s deputy David A. Schmale Jr. and Elizabethtown police officer J. Blake Bryan.
According to District Attorney Jon David, the investigation has been widened to include the State Bureau of Investigation.
“I, along with (Bladen County) Sheriff Jim McVicker asked the SBI to investigate the circumstances because we thought it was important to have an outside agency be a part of the investigation,” David said.
The incident occurred at about 1 a.m. on Feb. 13 during a traffic stop near the intersection of Poplar and King streets. According to a report, Schmale stopped a vehicle driven by Dennis Windell Marshall, 29, of Elizabethtown for running two red lights. When he discovered that Marshall had a warrant for his arrest on a felony charge of failing to appear in court , Schmale directed Marshall to step out of the vehicle.
As Schmale was placing Marshall under arrest, Marshall became violent and managed to grab a handgun from his vehicle. It was at that moment that Bryan arrived to assist in the arrest, and Schmale hollered to Bryan that Marshall had a gun just before Marshall fired a shot at the retreating Scmale, who was not hit.
Both Bryan and Schmale reportedly returned fire and hit Marshall an unreported number of times.
Marshall was transported to Bladen County Hospital, but his condition has not been released.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.