A 75-year-old Caldwell County man killed himself after calling deputies to his home late Wednesday, Observer news partner WBTV reported, citing the State Bureau of Investigation.
The SBI said Donald Marcus Smith called 911 and made suicidal statements to dispatchers, saying he had a gun, WBTV reported.
Deputies spoke to Smith for several minutes to try to de-escalate the situation, but Smith raised his right hand and fired a single shot, according to the SBI. One of the deputies fired two rounds from his patrol rifle that hit Smith in his torso, the SBI told the station.
“I was in total shock,” Smith’s son, Woody Smith, told WBTV. “He was a really good man, he was a likable person.”
Smith’s family said he had been going through some hard times, including losing a son last year and being diagnosed with cancer last week, according to WBTV.
An autopsy is scheduled at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.