A city worker was killed and a police sergeant and third employee were shot and injured when a man opened fire at a sanitation department facility in North Carolina before being shot by police, according to authorities.
The shooting occurred at Winston-Salem’s Jocelyn V. Johnson Municipal Services Center around 6:37 a.m. Friday, authorities said. The building houses city departments, including sanitation, engineer field officers, employee medical staff and employee development.
The first officer arrived by 6:41 a.m.
The suspect in the shooting was identified by police Friday as Steven Dewayne Haizlip, 61, a city of Winston Salem employee for 12 years. Police said officers encountered him outside of the building and a gunfight ensued. He was killed by police.
Dwight Black, 66, told The Associated Press that he had just parked his car at the building to head into work when people yelled: “They’re shooting! Run!”
“I just followed suit,” he told The AP. “I didn’t know what was happening.”
The officer injured in the shooting was identified as Sgt. Cameron Stewart Sloan, a 22-year veteran on the Winston-Salem police force. He was shot twice, police said, but was out of surgery and recovering.
Police identified the fatal shooting victim as Terry Lee Cobb Jr., 48, a city worker for 20 years. Authorities said he appeared to be the primary target of the shooting.
“Based on what we know at this time, it appears that Mr. Cobb was the specific top target of Mr. Haizlip. Although there were other city employees in harm’s way, no one else appeared to have been specifically or randomly targeted.” Winston-Salem Police Chief Caterina Thompson said during a news conference Friday. “We are categorizing this event as a workplace violence incident.”
Capt. Steven Tollie said that the alleged shooter and victim apparently had a longstanding dislike for each other.
Real Life. Real News. Real Voices
Help us tell more of the stories that matterBecome a founding member
“The source of that dislike. … I don’t have it this time, but I’m aware of an incident that occurred yesterday (Thursday) between the victim and the offender. They were involved in an altercation yesterday that as far as we can tell, went unreported to the employer. But I believe that altercation yesterday — at least at this day’s investigation — appears to be the catalyst for today’s incident,” he said at the news conference. “The altercation yesterday was not on site.”
Tollie said Haizlip allegedly came to work Friday with multiple firearms. He said two handguns had been found.
A third city worker suffered a serious, but non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Authorities declined to release the identity of that worker, but Tollie said he believed that victim was not an intended target.
Authorities said the state Bureau of Investigation was investigating, as is standard protocol in an officer-involved shooting.
“On behalf of the city council, I want to express how deeply saddened we are by the tragic event that occurred this morning involving employees at our Sanitation facility on Lowery Street. Although we do not yet have confirmed details about the incident, our thoughts and prayers are with the employees involved, their families, and their co-workers. We remain dedicated to continuing to ensure that all city employees have a safe and secure workplace,” Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines said in a statement released Friday.
Subscribe to the newsletter news
We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe