elkintribune.com

Man charged after five-hour standoff

Anthony GonzalezStaff Writer

December 7, 2012

Two Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office deputies were shot at and received minor injuries Friday morning at a Jonesville hotel, leading to a five-hour standoff.


John Trenton Smith, 37, was arrested Friday at about 9:45 a.m. at America’s Home Value Inn off U.S. 21, according to deputies. Sheriff Ricky Oliver did not immediately reveal what the charges were against Smith.


Deputies arrived on scene at about 5 a.m., and the suspect shot at them through the door, according to N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Kevin Hennelly. Deputies then evacuated the occupied hotel rooms.


One deputy was shot in the shoulder, and another was injured by debris flying after the suspect shot at the deputies through the door, according to Oliver.


Elkin residents Lindsey Whitley and Dalton Buzzard said that deputies knocked on their door at about 7 a.m. and told them to evacuate. They had just looked out the window and saw what looked like about 30 law enforcement vehicles. They said all of the other occupants had been escorted out by deputies earlier, but Buzzard and Whitely were somehow missed during the original evacuation.


Buzzard said he thought that about 12 out of 40 rooms were occupied the night before.


Officials said the Jonesville Police Department received a call at 4:30 a.m. from a Jonesville resident who said that handguns were stolen from her home. The suspect had allegedly stolen guns from his mother’s house and then came to the inn. Deputies had a warrant for his arrest, and had arrived at the inn when they were shot at through the door, officials said.


Oliver said that Smith was a convicted felon. He had been staying at America’s Home Value Inn for a couple of weeks, according to Hennelly with the Highway Patrol.


At about 9:45 a.m., law enforcement officers convinced him to put down his gun and surrender himself. He was then driven away in a sheriff’s office vehicle. Before the vehicle pulled onto the road, members of the media swarmed the vehicle. A picture sent by Tribune news partner WXII show the suspect with his tongue hanging out.


The Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office, the Yadkinville Police Department, the N.C. Highway Patrol, the SBI, and the US Marshall’s office were on scene.