03/16/06 — Two face charges after drug raid

View Archive

Two face charges after drug raid

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on March 16, 2006 2:03 PM

Goldsboro police Capt. Brady Thompson is recovering today, one day after being shot in the chest during a morning drug raid.

The 50-year-old Thompson was saved from serious injury, or even death, Wednesday, because of his bulletproof vest. The veteran officer was expected to return to duty soon.

Thompson's alleged assailant, Bobby Lee Rawlings, 58, was arrested quickly by other officers and taken into custody. He was charged by the State Bureau of Investigation with attempted murder.

Rico Deavon Lewis


Bobby Lee Rawlings


Rawlings was charged later by the Goldsboro-Wayne County Drug Squad with three felonies -- possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of keeping and selling cocaine and possession of a stolen firearm -- and misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Rawlings was placed in the Wayne County Jail in lieu of two secured bonds totaling $575,000. His first court appearance was scheduled for today to determine his legal representation.

The incident started at about 9:50 a.m. when officers from the Goldsboro-Wayne County Drug Squad and the Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant at a two-floor home at 1200 E. Elm St.

Police Chief Tim Bell said Thompson briefed him Wednesday morning about the raid. The chief said the drug officers followed the rules by knocking on the door at about 9:50 a.m. and announcing who they were. To prevent a suspect from disposing of drugs, Bell said, the officers have to move quickly once inside. Rawlings was believed to have fled upstairs, where he grabbed a handgun, confronted Thompson and fired at least one shot.

Bell said the officers did not return fire and neither Rawlings nor another man in the home was injured.

Thompson, a 23-year veteran with the department, was taken outside, put on a stretcher and rushed by ambulance to Wayne Memorial Hospital, where he was treated in the emergency room and released.

Bell said he expected Thompson, a 15-year veteran with the drug squad, to be sore for a few days.

When Bell heard the shot-fired call, he said he jumped in his car and went to the house, where many other officers and sheriff's deputies had converged.

Bell said he had "a bad feeling" when he heard the call on the police radio and said he hoped that no other officers would be wounded.

Sheriff Carey Winders said Thompson was "fortunate" to escape serious injury while doing a dangerous job.

"You never know what will happen day to day," he said.

Bell said a weapon and drugs were seized at the home, where Rawlings lived.

Rawlings was arrested, and a second man was detained during the investigation.

The other man, Rico Deavon Lewis, 34, of Green Street, was charged later with felony possession of cocaine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. He was jailed in lieu of a $5,000 secured bond.

The arrests followed an anonymous tip to Goldsboro-Wayne County Crime Stoppers.

Bell said the police would obtain another search warrant to enter the house as part of the continuing investigation of the drug case.

At Bell's request, the State Bureau of Investigation, led by Special Agent John Rea, took over the investigation of the shooting.

The drug squad, now almost 30 years old, is made up of Goldsboro police officers and Wayne County sheriff's deputies. Thompson and Sheriff's Lt. Tom Effler are the ranking officers. Bell served with the squad for 15 years.