Deputies kill man in shootout

Childcare center locked down as precaution
Jun. 07, 2013 @ 05:07 PM

As Caldwell County sheriff's deputies approached the entrance to a house's basement in a neighborhood near Lake Hickory Thursday morning, a man came out with guns, and a shootout erupted. When it was over, the man was dead, and no deputies were injured.

Investigators would not release the man's name Thursday, but area residents identified him as John Settlemyre, 67.

The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting. The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, which the sheriff's office said is standard procedure.

Sheriff's deputies went to a house at 5490 Northwood Drive -- which is the address given for John Settlemyre in public records -- around 8:30 a.m. after a report of trouble there, a press release from the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office said. They spoke to a woman, whose name was not released. Her husband was barricaded in the basement.

The Northlakes Academy Child Development Center, within 100 yards of the Southlake Drive house, was locked down from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. as a precautionary measure, an employee said. A section of Grace Chapel Road also was closed to the public, and an armored vehicle was called in for back-up.

Authorities would not say how long the man was barricaded inside, but at some point as deputies approached the rear of the house they heard loud noises from the basement. Deputies tried to make contact, but the man came out with guns, and there was a shootout between him and the deputies. He then ran into the backyard and collapsed. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Neighbors reported hearing many shots. Jack Skinner, an Army veteran who has lived in the neighborhood for 35 years, said he was at home reading the newspaper when he heard police cars streaming into the neighborhood, and later heard the gunfire.

"It sounded like it came from two different assault weapons," Skinner, 72, said. "I heard what sounded like between 20 to 30 shots in rapid-fire succession."

Grace Chapel Road was re-opened shortly after 10 a.m.

"This is a tragic situation, and our deepest sympathy goes out to the family of the suspect," Sheriff Alan Jones said in a press release. "I'm grateful that the officers involved are safe, and (I am) proud (of) the job they did today. This is never the outcome that we want when we respond to a call for assistance."