The Nash County Sheriff’s Office released the names of the three deputies involved in a fatal shooting on Feb. 9.
Sgt. John Winstead, Deputy Stan Ricks and Detective Taylor Neal were all placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the death of Jonathan Ramirez, 28, of Bailey.
According to authorities, the three members of the sheriff’s office responded to a sexual assault call around 5 a.m. in the 1200 block of Maudis Road in Bailey.
While on the phone with dispatchers, the victim identified the suspect as Ramirez and told 911 that she was following him and that he was in possession of an AK-47 rifle and drugs, according to a press release.
The woman followed Ramirez and updated dispatchers as to his location so that deputies could find him, the sheriff’s office said.
Winstead, Ricks and Taylor responded to the scene and immediately found the vehicle that Ramirez was described as being in. The deputies made contact with Ramirez, who authorities said refused to follow instructions from law enforcement. While speaking with Ramirez, he pointed a rifle at the deputies, according to the sheriff’s office. It was at that time that the deputies fired their weapons, striking Ramirez and killing him.
Ramirez’s mother, Francisa Ramirez told CBS 17 she was sleeping when she heard gunshots. She says she ran outside and found her son on the ground, bleeding, near his work truck.
She says he worked for an electric company and was about to get married.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting and plans to present its findings to the Nash County District Attorney’s Office once completed. Ramirez’s exact cause and manner of death have not been determined at this point, the press release stated.
Winstead, Ricks and Taylor have more than 40 years of combined law enforcement experience, the sheriff’s office said. Winstead has nearly 16 years of experience, Ricks has nearly 20 years of experience, and Neal has almost three years of law enforcement experience with the Nash County Sheriff’s Office and two years with another agency, according to officials.
“This was the first officer-involved shooting involving the Nash County Sheriff’s Office in a long time and the first during Sheriff Keith Stone’s tenure as the Sheriff of Nash County,” the sheriff’s office wrote in their release.