CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — Authorities said a man accused of holding a hostage at gunpoint was shot and killed by deputies in Catawba County Saturday morning. Eyewitnesses told Channel 9 the hostage was the gunman’s son.
The shooting happened on Village Circle in the Mountain View community, just south of Hickory.
Investigators told Channel 9′s Dave Faherty the initial call for the incident came around 6:30 a.m. for a hostage situation. Deputies said Bobby Roy Farthing, 62, was allegedly holding his adult son at gunpoint inside an SUV.
Eyewitnesses told Faherty Farthing allegedly took his son inside the vehicle before ending up at the home.
“He had a gun. I don’t believe there was a choice,” neighbor Laura Lawrence said. “I don’t believe there was a choice.”
Deputies said they called in the Catawba County sheriff’s SWAT team, who tried several times to negotiate with Farthing. They said he was allegedly threatening to shoot his son.
Authorities told Faherty at about 7:45 a.m., deputies shot Farthing inside the SUV, killing him. The son was not hurt and neither were the deputies involved.
“The hostage life was in danger,” said Caption Aaron Turk with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. “We took action that we felt was necessary to save the hostage and bring the situation to an end.”
Faherty was at the scene and could see the SUV in the yard of a home on Village Circle.
Deputies said per standard protocol, the State Bureau of Investigation is going to investigate. Channel 9 has reached out to the SBI for more information.
Deputies believed the son’s life was in danger when they used deadly force.
“No one in law enforcement wants to harm anyone,” Turk said. “These situations are tragic every time and we do our best inside these tragedies.”
Catawba County Sheriff Down Brown sent the following statement to Channel 9:
“These incidents are tragic for all involved. We are thankful that the hostage was not injured and that no further loss of life occurred. We will assist and cooperate fully with the SBI as they investigate. Our thoughts and prayers are with this family and with all of law enforcement officers and their families affected by this incident.”
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