Suspect fired at deputy; schools locked down during search

Staff Report

A Walnut Cove man was arrested and charged Tuesday afternoon following a manhunt that began early in the morning near Butner Mill Road on N.C. 67. The suspect, Benji Alton East, 34, allegedly fired shots at a Yadkin County Sheriff’s deputy.

Around 5 a.m. Tuesday, a deputy responded to an unoccupied home on N.C. 67 after receiving a call about a suspicious vehicle near the home, said Yadkin County Sheriff Ricky Oliver. Two females and one male were in the vehicle.

As the deputy began an investigation, the male, East, fled on foot. The deputy pursued him into a wooded area where he lost sight of East. As he was returning to the vehicle, shots were fired. The deputy was not injured. When he returned, the females in the vehicle had fled the scene.

Oliver said local law enforcement spent much of the day searching the area, with assistance from K9 units, Stokes County Sheriff’s Office, King Police Department, Winston-Salem Police Department, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and other state agencies.

A vehicle was stopped around 2 p.m. Tuesday and one of the females was located. Interviews conducted led to the location of East and he was taken into custody around 3:15 p.m., Oliver said. He was charged assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, possession of a firearm by a felon and resist, delay, obstruct an officer. Other charges may be pending, Oliver said, as the investigation proceeds.

Area schools were on lock down during the manhunt, Oliver reported, but students were released Tuesday afternoon.

Staff Report