07/29/10 — Greene County deputy shot to death

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Greene County deputy shot to death

By Staff Reports
Published in News on July 29, 2010 1:46 PM

SNOW HILL -- A Greene County Sheriff's deputy was shot to death early Wednesday evening while answering a domestic disturbance call in a neighborhood just over a mile from the Wayne County line.

Deputy Jon Willis, 31, was killed when he answered an emergency call about 7:30 p.m. in the Brook Meadows subdivision off U.S. 13 North near Shines Crossroads at 89 Brooke Place.

The alleged assailant, Daniel Myers, 22, then turned the weapon on himself and committed suicide.

According to Greene County Sheriff Lemmie Smith, Willis arrived at the mobile home and stepped onto the front porch, where an angry and drunken Myers met him at the door.

Myers allegedly fired two shots from a handgun through the door, killing Willis before taking his own life.

Neighbors reported hearing three shots about 7:30 p.m. They told reporters at the scene that they were stunned by the shooting. The neighborhood is a quiet one with a number of retired military living in the area.

Sheriff Smith said the death of one of his deputies has been a "complete nightmare."

"It's a tragic thing the department is going through right now," he said. "We're a family down here."

Smith said Willis was first employed at the Sheriff's Office in December 2002. He left for about a year and recently returned to the department.

"He was very polite and kind of quiet, and he done his job well," Smith said. "We're a family here and I'm just asking everyone to keep us in their prayers. We're going through a tough time right now."

Willis leaves behind two children, Smith said.

Willis is the third eastern North Carolina lawman to be killed in the line of duty in the past 15 months.

Lenoir County deputy Allen Pearson, 29, was shot to death in April 2009 when lawmen cornered a murder suspect in a field near Craven County. A man killed his girlfriend and later started a shootout in the woods with Lenoir County Sheriff's deputies that killed a lawman and left the gunman dead. Clarence Douglas Phillips had murdered his girlfriend at her Craven County home, then led investigators on a chase. Pearson was killed in the shootout and another deputy wounded.

Martin County deputy Charles Brown, 38, was killed in a shootout in December. His assailant also was shot to death.