Wilkes County deputy on administrative leave after shooting involving murder suspect

Piedmont Triad News

WILKES COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A Wilkes County deputy shot a man accused of murder on Friday, according to a Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Deputies with the WCSO were conducting a warrant/wanted persons check after they were told about a homicide that happened in Caldwell County earlier on Friday.

When deputies arrived on Traphill Ridge Road, they spotted the suspect, 35-year-old Thomas Charlie Billings, standing outside.

He was accused of stabbing Tracy Rash to death after she had allegedly taken out a protective order against him due to domestic violence.

Deputies approached Billings, and he pointed a gun at them. The deputies ordered him to drop his weapon multiple times before they shot him, the release says.

Billings was treated by medical personnel at the scene and later pronounced dead.

An autopsy has been scheduled for Wednesday.

At least one deputy is on administrative leave after the shooting, which is standard procedure. The State Bureau of Investigation has taken over the case, which is also standard procedure.

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