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Probe into officer-involved shooting continues

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A Nash County patrol car sits at the scene of an officer-involved shooting on Feb. 9 in the 1200 block of Maudis Road in Bailey.

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Friday, February 22, 2019

The investigation by state and local authorities of the fatal shooting of 28-year-old Jonathan Ramirez by Nash County law enforcement officers on Feb. 9 in Bailey continues

“This was the first officer-involved shooting involving the Nash County Sheriff’s Office in a long time and the first during Sheriff Keith Stone’s tenure as the sheriff of Nash County,” Chief Deputy Brandon Medina said in a written statement. “Please continue prayers and thoughts for the Ramirez family as well as for our deputies as we continue to cope with this tragic incident.”

The names of the three officers involved in the shooting were released Thursday by the Nash County Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. John Winstead, Deputy Stan Ricks and Detective Taylor Neal were the officers who followed Ramirez to the scene on the 1200 block of Maudis Road in Bailey in the early morning hours of Feb. 9 after receiving a call concerning a sexual assault that identified the suspect as Ramirez. 

In the ensuing confrontation, Ramirez reportedly pulled a weapon on the deputies and they responded in self-defense, Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone said at an earlier news conference.

The officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the conclusion of the investigation.

Winstead has nearly 16 years of law enforcement experience with the Sheriff’s Office and Ricks has nearly 20 years of law enforcement experience with the Sheriff’s Office. Neal has almost three years of law enforcement experience with the Sheriff’s Office and two years’ experience at another law enforcement agency, according to a statement released Thursday by the Nash County Sheriff’s Office.

Nash County Communications received a call concerning a sexual assault on the morning of Feb. 9 and the victim of the assault identified the suspect as Ramirez. The female caller indicated she was following Ramirez and updated Nash County Communications about his location. She also stated Rameriz was in possession of drugs and an AK-47 rifle.

Winstead, Ricks and Neal located the vehicle Ramirez was described as operating on the 1200 block of Maudis Road in Bailey. Deputies made contact with Ramirez and he refused to follow instructions from the deputies, the press release said.

During the encounter, Ramirez allegedly pointed a rifle toward the officers and they fired their weapons in response. 

The State Bureau of Investigations will present its findings to the Nash County District Attorney's Office. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will determine the final cause and manner of death, the statement said.

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