Search for “armed and dangerous” man ends with officer-involved shooting


The search for a man considered armed and dangerous ended with an officer-involved shooting. 

The shooting happened after 5 p.m. as multiple agencies searched for Bruce Puchel, 45, of Ernul. Craven County Sheriff’s deputies said Puchel, known to law enforcement, posted an online video appearing to harm himself Friday. Deputies and investigators followed up on the report and checked Puchel’s  last known address, assisted by a New Bern Police Department K9. 

A 911 caller reported seeing someone in a wooded area near 4490 Highway 17 North. The Vanceboro Police Department assisted Craven County Sheriff’s investigators with a search, officers encountering the subject in the woods.

According to the Craven County Sheriff’s Office, the subject  refused to comply with officer commands and posed a threat of bodily harm to officers. As a result of the subject’s action a Investigator with the Sheriff’s Office fired his weapon to protect himself and fellow officers.

It’s unclear if anyone was hurt.

The Sheriff’s Office has requested the State Bureau of Investigations investigate the shooting. 

Statement By District Attorney Scott Thomas 

District Attorney Scott Thomas said, pursuant to standard procedure, Sheriff Chip Hughes and I requested the State Bureau of Investigation to investigate this officer involved shooting by a Craven County Sheriff’s Deputy. I met with SBI Agents at the scene as they initiated their investigation. Upon completion of the investigation, the SBI will submit their findings to me for a determination as to whether the shooting was justified.

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The Craven County Sheriff’s Office said they are trying to locate a man who is considered armed and dangerous.

Deputies said that on Friday, Bruce Puchel, 45, of Ernul, posted a video online depicting him harming himself.

He was last seen wearing a white dress shirt and red tie.

He is considered armed and dangerous, deputies said.

Anyone with information can contact the Craven County Sheriff’s Office at 252-636-6620 or Craven County Communications at 252-633-2357. 

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