Wanted man killed in shootout with deputies after being found guilty of child sex crimes

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — A man who was found guilty of child sex crimes last week was killed Tuesday afternoon in a shootout with deputies in Rowan County.

Investigators tell Channel 9′s Hannah Goetz that Kenneth Vickers was killed after he started firing at Rowan County Sheriff’s deputies at a home on Old Concord Road.

The shooting happened around 1 p.m. and Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew over the scene.

Authorities told Goetz that deputies had been looking for Kenneth Vickers after he left court Friday and didn’t come back. Investigators said Vickers was found guilty of multiple counts of child sex crimes, including indecent liberties and statutory sex offense, but he hadn’t been sentenced yet.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office was helping the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office look for Vickers when they went to the home on Old Concord Road, south of Peeler Road, in Salisbury on Tuesday.

Officials told Channel 9 that deputies looked around the back of the house and found Vickers in a shed. He popped up with a gun and fired at the deputies, and that’s when they fired back and killed him.

Investigators said they have reviewed body camera footage to confirm that Vickers shot at the deputies.

“Mr. Vickers can be seen on body camera footage firing a shot, don’t exactly know how many shots, but firing shots at deputies,” said Capt. Mark McDaniel with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office. “They returned fire, and Mr. Vickers is deceased.”

According to McDaniel, only Rowan County deputies fired at Vickers.

No deputies were reported to be hurt in the shootout. McDaniel said he knows this situation could have ended differently.

“When you realize how close sometimes these officers come ... these men and women go out every day and put their life on the line,” he said.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is handling the officer-involved shooting case, along with investigators from Rowan County.

We’re working on getting more details. Check back for updates.

(VIDEO: ‘One of the greatest’: Friends, family mourn CMPD officer killed in east Charlotte shootout)

Hannah Goetz

Hannah Goetz, wsoctv.com

Hannah is a reporter for WSOC-TV.

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