GREENSBORO, N.C. — Friends and neighbors of Ray Barber, who was shot and killed by Guilford County deputies Sunday during a three-hour standoff, remember him as a good father and friend.
“He was a friend that was like a brother,” said Bill Watkins, Barber’s best friend for more than 25 years. “He would do anything if you needed it and I would do anything for him.”
“He was a really, really, really good guy, so this is just a shock,” said Watkins, who referred to Barber as “RJ.”
Sunday night Barber was shot and killed after aiming his gun at Guilford County sheriff’s deputies who were trying to negotiate with him.
Barber barricaded himself inside a shed near his home on Cynthia Road.
“They were trying to talk him out,” said neighbor James Cairrikier “He just he wouldn’t come out.”
Deputies responded to a domestic dispute at Barber’s home just before 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
His wife called 911 after Barber pointed a gun at his head, threatening to kill himself.
Sheriff BJ Barnes says deputies were negotiating with Barber on his cell phone when the battery in his phone died.
As deputies were approaching Barber to bring him a new one, Barber aimed his gun at them and deputies opened fire, according to Barnes.
It was an ending Barnes says was a loss for everyone.
“It is never a good day when we have to take someone’s life,” Barnes said. “We’re here to save lives, not take them.”
The two deputies involved in the shooting are now on administrative leave.
The shooting is being investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation.
The shooting has left a hole in the hearts of friends and family who knew Barber as a friend and a dad, and never saw it coming.
“I feel like I lost a brother,” Watkins said.