PARKTON, NC (WBTW) – A person was killed and a trooper was injured this weekend after authorities responded to the Parkton area of Robeson County to conduct a welfare check.
News13 reporter Justin Dorsey said he heard gunshots as he arrived in the area Sunday afternoon. Around 4:30 p.m., Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth Sealey said a deputy had been pinned down for about an hour at a house near Church Street in the Parkton area with heavy gunfire.
A press release from the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office located the home on Acadiana Drive and claimed that the call came in around 2:05 p.m.
According to a release from the State Bureau of Investigation, the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office and the NC Highway Patrol were conducting a welfare check on 33-year-old Kevin Anthony Battaglia at the home, but when officials arrived, he began firing at law enforcement.
The sheriff’s office explains that the homeowner was upset and “appeared that something was wrong.” Battaglia was reportedly armed, had a bullet proof vest on, refused assistance and made threats to deputies. A deputy called for backup when shots were fired toward an officer.
“As they arrived, Battaglia began shooting at the officers, then barricaded himself inside his home and continued to shoot officers. During the exchange of gunfire, Battaglia was hit and killed,” the press release from the SBI states.
The SBI also announced that a trooper had been shot in his safety vest during the resulting two hour standoff, but he was taken to the hospital and released.
Neighbors describe being holed up, laying on the floor of their homes as shots were fired.
“I was petrified at the time,” admits neighbor Nathaniel Solomon. “As soon as I go to church, my wife and my family called to tell me that they were barricaded in the house on the floor – shots was ringing off of the house.”
First responders blocked the roads leading into the street where numerous law enforcement units were set up, firing shots, and taking cover. Solomon says ultimately, officers set up inside of his home, returning shots against Battaglia.
“Emotionally, you don’t expect for this to happen in your neighborhood, or for you to walk back into your house and see 100 to 200 shells,” expresses Solomon.
Solomon says his neighborhood is pretty close-knit. He had spoken with Battaglia just a few days prior to the shootout when Battaglia asked Solomon to pray with him.
“I advised him to keep praying,” recalls Solomon. “It must not have worked for him.”
Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth Sealey requested the assistance of the SBI.
At the end of the confrontation, several homes were struck by Battaglia’s gunfire as well as several patrol cars.