BUNCOMBE COUNTY, NC (WSPA) – Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office officials said a man died and a deputy was injured during an active shooter situation in downtown Asheville Tuesday morning.
Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller said during a news conference that a probation officer was walking in front of the Buncombe County Courthouse when shots were fired from outside of a parked vehicle.
“During the course of this incident, a lieutenant with the sheriff’s office was injured,” Miller said. “That individual is now being treated for his injuries at Mission Memorial Hospital … and we expect him to be ok. One individual, who was parked in the vehicle, is deceased from officer’s returning fire.”
Miller said 911 dispatch sent an alert just before 9:50 a.m. regarding an active shooter in front of the courthouse. He said Asheville Police Department officer, deputies from the sheriff’s office, as well as probation officers, responded to the scene.
“No courthouse employees or bystanders were injured,” Miller said.
Asheville Police Department officials later identified the shooter as Shane Tilman Kent, 29, of Asheville.
APD officials said a preliminary investigation revealed that Kent was armed with a .9mm handgun and fired shots at a law enforcement officer.
Kent was reportedly known to law enforcement and was shooting from inside of a Chevrolet SUV, which he did not own.
According to APD’s news release, deputies within the Buncombe County Courthouse responded to the scene and confronted Kent, which resulted in his death.
Asheville Police said the injured deputy received a non-life threatening injury to his arm and was treated and later released from Mission hospital.
Miller said they believe it was a random shooting.
Judge Hill and Judge Cogburn ordered the courthouse to be closed for the rest of the day, but Miller said he expected the courthouse to reopen on Wednesday.
Miller said the courthouse was open on Tuesday, but on a limited basis during the incident.
According to Miller, there is no longer a threat to the public.
Asheville Police oversaw the preliminary investigation and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has since taken over the investigation, with assistance from APD.
Buncombe County Government officials initially issued an alert Tuesday morning saying an active shooter had been reported in the area near Buncombe County Courthourse — located at 60 Court Plaza — and officials were asking people to avoid downtown Asheville.
District Attorney Todd Williams issued the following statement about the incident on Twitter:
Drew Reisinger shared video he took of the scene with us, which shows the heavy police presence in the downtown area.