Deputy shoots, kills man brandishing rifle

by Keith Strange kstrange@civitasmedia.com

April 23, 2014

The State Bureau of Investigation is sending a bomb detecting robot into the home of a local man who was shot and killed by a Surry County deputy earlier today.

James Ransom, 55, was shot and killed by an as-yet unidentified Surry County deputy after Ransom brandished an assault rifle at the deputy and disregarded commands to put the weapon down.

Now, the SBI is sending a bomb robot into the man’s Ararat home because Ransom had previously threatened to booby-trap his home and property.

This is not the first brush authorities have had with Ransom in the past, according to the sheriff, having been called to his home “numerous times.” Today, just before noon, they were called to his home once again.

“A Veteran’s Administration hospital called us and asked us to perform a welfare check on the subject,” said Sheriff Graham Atkinson. “And then a short time later the subject called (emergency 911) communications threatening to kill himself.”

Atkinson said the deputy arrived at a home on Creed Road, located between White Plains and Ararat around noon, to find Ransom in the front yard of the home brandishing an assault rifle.

According to the sheriff, when the deputy asked Ransom to put down the weapon, he confronted the deputy, who shot and killed the suspect.

The State Bureau of Investigation is now in charge of the investigation, as is custom whenever there is a law enforcement-related shooting.

Atkinson said the SBI will be sending a bomb robot into the home because of Ransom’s previous threats.

“He has previously made statements to the effect that he would set traps in his home for police, so we’re sending in the robot as a precaution,” the sheriff said.

Atkinson said the deputy involved in the shooting has been removed from the scene and is waiting to be interviewed by investigators.

The deputy will be placed on administrative leave until the investigation is completed.

Keith Strange can be reached at 336-719-1929 or via Twitter @strangereporter.