ROCKWELL, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Two law enforcement officers and a firefighter were injured and a suspect is dead after shots were fired during a response to a mobile home fire in Rowan County early Friday morning, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident began at 12:38 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, at a home on Mahaffey Drive in Rockwell.
When firefighters arrived, they found a fire at a mobile home. A man, later identified as Ronald Wayne Green, 45, was reported to be at the back of the mobile home, deputies said.
As firefighters went to the back of the mobile home to attempt a rescue and combat the fire, the only known resident at the home, Green, began shooting, they said.
“That was not him,” Tiffany Rusaw, Green’s ex-wife, said to Queen City News on Friday. “None of this was him. The whole time I’ve known this man.”
As additional officers from Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and Granite Quarry Police arrived, more shots were reportedly fired by Green.
“We came out and the whole trailer was engulfed and he was holding the back door, barricading it. He said they were inside, trying to kill him, and they trapped him,” Rusaw said.
Two law enforcement officers and a firefighter sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the incident. One officer received a gunshot to the face and leg, while another suffered a shot to the hand. Despite their injuries, the officers helped get the injured firefighter to Rowan County EMS and other first responders for treatment.
Gunfire was exchanged between officers and Green, which resulted in Green’s death.
“He didn’t recognize anybody, he didn’t know who anybody was. He just thought people were trying to hurt him,” Rusaw said, who explained to QCN that her ex-husband had been suffering from a mental health crisis.
After police secured the scene, firefighters continued to fight the fire on Friday.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is assisting the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation.
“The names of the injured officers and firefighter are not being released at this time out of respect for their privacy,” the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said.
The Granite Quarry police and fire department issued a statement late Friday. The agencies thanked well-wishers who inquired about the injured first responders.
“Today has been a roller coaster of emotions for our department, families, and this community. This morning’s events are still under investigation, and additional details will need to come from those investigating agencies. However, we can say that we are grateful that all three injured first responders are at home resting. Many times, throughout the morning, it has been said, “I never imagined in our town.” While this is an accurate statement, it is also correct to say that ” we always knew in this town” that camaraderie and community far exceed that of many towns.”