08/26/12 — One man killed in shootout with police

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One man killed in shootout with police

By Kennth Fine and John Joyce
Published in News on August 26, 2012 1:50 AM

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Wayne County Sheriff Carey Winders, left, and Goldsboro Police Chief Jeff Stewart confer at the scene of a fatal shooting Friday night,

One man is dead following a firefight involving local law enforcement and a group of men inside a Goldsboro home late Friday night.

It started at approximately 10 p.m. when members of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office ACE Team and Goldsboro Police Department Selective Enforcement Unit attempted to execute a search warrant on the 700 block of Slaughter Street -- when, as they entered the home, they began taking fire.

"There was an exchange of gunfire," Sheriff Carey Winders said from the scene no more than an hour later. "It went on for a while."

By the time the shooting stopped, one of the men who allegedly opened fire was dead and another was wounded. The three survivors were then taken into custody.

As of press time, only one suspect has been identified, and officials say the investigation into the identity of the man killed is continuing.

Thomas Arthur Austin Jr., 31, is charged with five counts of attempted murder and will be held under a $100,000 secured bond. Additional charges against Austin are pending, due to the original narcotics warrant the officers were initially attempting to serve. Charges against the other two suspects also are pending.

Winders and Police Chief Jeff Stewart, who was also at the scene, did not comment extensively on the condition of the men who were executing the warrant. They would only say that, although one officer sustained minor wounds, no law enforcement officials were "seriously injured."

But both said they were troubled by the loss of life, no matter which side of the law the deceased was on.

"Any time there is loss of life, it's unfortunate," Winders said. "It really is."

The News-Argus remained at the scene until after 1 a.m. -- until the investigation was officially handed over to the SBI, as is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting. The names of the officers involved also have not yet been released.

But in the hours in between the shooting and that time, it seemed clear that both the Sheriff's Office and the Goldsboro Police Department were taking precautions against further violence.

They blocked off the area around the house where the shooting took place with police tape and manned the entry points with armed officers who turned multiple bystanders away as they approached the scene asking for information.