Lindsay CravenStaff WriterNathan DiBagnoGeneral Manager/Editor
December 7, 2012
Two Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office deputies were shot at and received minor injuries Dec. 7 at a Jonesville hotel, leading to a five-hour standoff.
Sgt. A. G. Day and Deputy B. N. Smitherman were both injured during the standoff last Friday. Day was hit with a bullet in the shoulder and Smitherman was hit with debris from the door. Both officers have been treated for their injuries and have returned to work.
John Trenton Smith, 37, was arrested last Friday at about 9:45 a.m. at America’s Best Value Inn off U.S. 21, according to deputies.
Smith has been charged with attempted first degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon on a government officer, one count of assault on law enforcement officer with a firearm, one count of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, possession of a firearm by a felon, one count of injury to real property and two counts of injury to personal property.
Smith received his first appearance hearing on Dec. 10 and the judge set his bond at $750,000. Smith has not made bond.
Yadkin County Sheriff Ricky Oliver said that the court has decided to provide Smith with an attorney outside of Yadkin County.
Officials said the Jonesville Police Department received a call at 4:30 a.m. from Smith’s mother informing the authorities that Smith had stolen at least one gun from her home. Authorities learned that Smith was staying at America’s Best Value Inn in Jonesville.
Deputies arrived on scene at about 5 a.m. and the suspect shot at them through the door, according to N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Kevin Hennelly.
Sheriff Oliver said that there were approximately eight to 10 rooms occupied at the hotel at the time of the incident and available deputies evacuated the rooms that could be moved safely with the initial manpower they had available.
“Once more manpower and resources arrived the remaining rooms were evacuated by deputies,” Sheriff Oliver said. “All of the rooms that were not initially evacuated were called by hotel staff and instructed to stay in their rooms. Everyone cooperated and all of the hotel guests were evacuated safely.”
Sheriff Oliver said that all guests were evacuated by approximately 7:30 a.m.
As a precaution the Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office called on the N.C. Department of Transportation to shut down both lanes of Interstate 77 due to its proximity to the hotel.
Sheriff Oliver said that deputies did not know how many or what types of weapons Smith had in the hotel room and they feared he could open fire on oncoming traffic. The highway was shut down at approximately 7:30 a.m. and was re-opened shortly after Smith was taken into custody.
At about 9:45 a.m., law enforcement officers convinced Smith to put down his gun and surrender himself. He was then driven away in a sheriff’s office vehicle. Before the vehicle pulled onto the road, members of the media swarmed the vehicle. A picture sent by Ripple news partner WXII show the suspect with his tongue hanging out.
Oliver said that Smith was a convicted felon. He had been staying at America’s Home Value Inn for a couple of weeks, according to Hennelly with the Highway Patrol.
According to the NC Department of Public Safety, Smith has a long criminal record with his most recent incarceration beginning on Jan. 28, 2011. Smith was held in the Yadkin County Jail for possession of a firearm by a felon. According to the departments website he was released Aug. 31, 2012. Smith has been charged with three previous counts of firearm possession as a felon, seven counts of larceny both misdemeanors and felonies, four driving while impaired charges and four breaking and entering charges both misdemeanors and felonies.
“I want to extend appreciation to all the agencies that were represented on Dec. 7,” Sheriff Oliver said.
The Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office, Yadkinville Police Department, Jonesville Police Department, N.C. Highway Patrol, N.C. Special Bureau of Investigation, US Marshall’s Office, Yadkin County EMS, N.C. Department of Transportation, Arlington Fire Department, West Yadkin Fire Department and the Yadkin County Rescue Squad were all available on the scene.
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.