Rockingham County Deputy Shot
J. Brian Ewing
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Rockingham County sheriff's deputy Travis Loftis was in critical condition Wednesday evening after he was shot while trying to serve warrants outside Wentworth.
Lamond Duncan, 30, who was named in the warrants, was shot and killed in the incident, which happened about 6 a.m.
Loftis, 30, was part of a special response team that was serving state and federal warrants on Duncan at his home on 750 Ashley Loop Road. Duncan, who was wanted on drug charges, died at the scene. The house is just north of Wentworth in a quiet, rural neighborhood.
Investigators have not determined who shot Duncan, who spent nearly two years in prison after a 1996 conviction for assault with a deadly weapon.
Loftis, who has been with the Sheriff's Office since June 2004, was shot in the torso, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office said. He was wearing a bullet-proof vest. Loftis underwent surgery Wednesday and is in the intensive care unit at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
The sheriff's special response team is similar to a SWAT team. Eden police officers and state and federal agents were assisting the team Wednesday morning.
"They receive the best training we can get," Sheriff Sam Page said during a news conference outside the hospital. "They had every bit of emergency equipment they could get."
Dean Venable, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office, said Duncan was the subject of an undercover drug investigation. He could not say when the investigation started, but Maj. J.V. Thomas said it would continue and that investigators searched the house after the shooting. The Sheriff's Office did not disclose where or how many times Duncan was shot.
Loftis lost a lot of blood, Venable said, but he was conscious when he was taken from the scene.
Susan Kyle, who lives across the street from the home, awoke to gunshots Wednesday morning. When the ambulances arrived, she knew something was wrong.
"It was very scary," she said.
Alisa Spady, the sister of Duncan's fiance, was at the house after the shooting. She said her sister recently moved from the home because of a break-in. Spady said Duncan had sold drugs in the past but had started a moving business ?Duncan Moving Company -a few months ago. Duncan was the only person at home when the officers arrived, Spady said.
"He was a drinker," Spady said.
Page said he appreciated the outpouring of support he has gotten from the community and other law agencies.
"The worst call you can get is that one of your deputies got shot," he said.
Loftis is married and has a child.
Page said the deputy's wife "has a lot of support," referring to people in the community, family and friends.
"Occasionally an officer is injured in the line of duty. It's always difficult. The more serious the injury, the more difficult it is," Venable said.
The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating, which is routine when a law officer is involved in a shooting.
Winston Salem Journal Staff Writer Ayesha Rascoe contributed to this story.
Staff Writer J. Brian Ewing can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 623-2155.
I'll try to keep everyone posted on Travis's condition. Please, everyone keep Travis and his family in your prayers.