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Fugitive in deputy shootings still at-large

hmitchell@charlotteobserver.com

Fugitive Skip Brinkley, the Caldwell County man accused of killing one sheriff's deputy and wounding another, remains at large.

Investigators pursued 50 unproductive leads on his whereabouts Tuesday, and earlier today again searched woods in the Oak Hill community near Brinkley's home. Caldwell county Sheriff's Office spokesman B.J. Fore said they searched more intensely than they did in the first days after Friday night's shootings.

Searchers also planned to fan out into the neighborhood again to talk to property owners in hopes of developing more information, fore said Wednesday afternoon.

Rookie Deputy Adam Klutz was responding to a 911 hang-up call at Brinkley's home outside Lenoir Friday night when authorities say Brinkley shot him in the head. The sheriff's office said Brinkley then shot Klutz' back-up, Lt. Chris Martin, three times in the chest. Martin escaped serious injury because he was wearing a bullet-proof vest, but Klutz died later that night.

Brinkley, a veteran of the Iraq war who moved to Caldwell County last year with his fiancée and her children, hasn't been seen since, as far as investigators know.

“It would be nice to wrap this thing up on the day of Adam's funeral,” Fore said, referring to Klutz' funeral services this afternoon, “so his family can start getting some closure. Our teams are very determined people and they've all taken ownership in Adam and this operation.”

Fore still wouldn't say why officers were called to the Brinkley home.

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