UPDATE: 05-23-20 6:00 PM
The name of the offender in the below detailed incident is Ronald Edward Earnhardt, a 62 year old white male, of 1435 Dunn’s Mountain Road, Salisbury, NC. The latest information that we have is that he remains at Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center in serious condition.
The NC SBI continues their investigation of the officer involved shooting, and would make any further releases on that investigation.
Deputies from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to 1435 Dunn’s Mountain Church Rd., Salisbury, NC to handle a report of a domestic disturbance. The initial caller also advised that the male offender was angry, tearing up the house, and that the offender had fired several shots inside the residence. The offender did make threats to several persons inside the house that he was going to kill them.
Deputies responded emergency traffic and began to arrive at the scene of this incident within about 10 minutes. Deputies parked below the offender’s residence and established a perimeter around his house. Additional perimeter positions were established as more Deputies arrived on the scene. The offender continued to fire shots inside the residence while Deputies attempted to make contact with him via telephone, or by making voice contact directly. Information obtained from persons who were initially in the house advised that the offender had at least 5 different firearms inside the residence consisting of 3 pistols & two rifles. Deputies were able to assist 6 persons escape from inside the residence, and also evacuated another 4 persons from a shed that was located in the back yard of the residence. Based on the statements given, Deputies were able to obtain a warrant on the offender for Communicating Threats at the Rowan County Magistrate’s Office.
The RCSO Negotiator Team and the RCSO Special Response Team were activated and responded to the scene to man the perimeter positions to allow some of the patrol Deputies to return to their regular zones to continue to answer other calls for service. The Granite Quarry Police was asked to assist with shutting down one end of Dunn’s Mountain Rd. to all through traffic, while a Deputy blocked the end of the road at the Stokes Ferry Rd. Intersection. RCSO Negotiators made numerous attempts to establish contact and dialogue with the Offender, but were never able to effective establish any prolonged conversation with the offender.
The Offender continued to exhibit a very agitated state inside the house, and was asked numerous times to put down his weapons, and come outside to be taken into custody. Neighbors from a nearby home were evacuated. The Offender advised Deputies that they needed to leave and began counting, and also stated that he was going to shoot all Law Enforcement if they did not leave. The offender moved toward a door of the residence and exited firing a round at Deputies. A member of the RCSO Special Response Team returned fire by firing one shot which struck the offender causing him significant injury. Rowan County EMS was already on the scene, and responded in quickly to take the offender to Rowan Hospital Novant. The offender has since been transferred to Carolina CMC for further treatment, and his present condition is not known.
The NC SBI was called in to conduct and investigation since there was an Officer Involved Shooting. The investigation continues at this present time, and will continue for several more hours.