FROM STAFF REPORTS
The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of a man who was killed in an officer-involved shooting on Bell Farm Road near Statesville on Friday, June 30.
Sheriff Darren Campbell identified the man, who was wanted on several felony charges, as Gregory Ray Cribb, 44.
The deputy who shot Cribb has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure following an officer-involved shooting, pending an investigation by the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation. The deputy’s name has not been released.
Sheriff Campbell, in a news release Thursday, said the deputy used deadly force to protect himself after Cribb pointed what appeared to be a semi-automatic rifle at the deputy.
“The Deputy’s actions were appropriate under the circumstances, and I support the difficult decision he had to make, as it was a last resort,” Campbell said in the news release.
Cribb, who lived at the home at 178 Bell Farm Road, was pronounced dead at the scene by Iredell County EMS personnel.
Three adults who were at the home at the time were charged with misdemeanor harboring a fugitive. The ICSO identified those individuals as:
♦ Heather Lynn Hopkins, 46, of 178 Bell Farm Road, Statesville;
♦ David Allen Metz Jr., 52, of Gyro Drive, Winston-Salem; and
♦ Christy Arnold Fayne, 51, of Gyro Drive Winston-Salem
The deadly shooting occurred after deputies received information that Cribb — who had outstanding warrants for Felony Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, Felony Second-Degree Kidnapping, and Violent Habitual Felon stemming from an incident in Hickory — was at the Bell Farm Road residence, Campbell said.
ICSO deputies went to 178 Bell Farm Road in an attempt to locate Cribb and take him into custody, according to the news release. After arriving at the residence, deputies could not get anyone to answer the door after nearly an hour so they left the residence.
Less than one hour later, a citizen contacted deputies and reported that a subject matching Cribb’s description had just walked out of the house and then re-entered the home, according to the news release.
Deputies responded to 178 Bell Farm Road for a second time to try and locate Cribb. They used a loudspeaker and knocked on the door for over an hour before a woman came to the front door along with two other adults, none of whom were Cribb and none matched Cribb’s description.
Deputies searched the inside of the residence. During the search, deputies found a small door in a bedroom closet, which deputies later learned provided access to a hidden crawlspace, Campbell said.
A veteran deputy entered the crawlspace from the backside of the residence, where he encountered a male subject hiding, according to the news release.
The deputy began giving commands to the suspect, who in response, displayed a semi-automatic rifle and pointed it at the deputy, the sheriff said.
The deputy then fired multiple rounds at the suspect, mortally wounding him, according to the news release.
The weapon Cribb brandished was later found to be an Airsoft rifle, which Campbell said was indistinguishable in appearance from an actual firearm.
During the investigation, deputies learned that Cribb had a violent criminal history spanning decades, the sheriff said.
The warrants Iredell County deputies were trying to serve on Cribb stemmed from an incident in Hickory, on September 30, 2021, in which Hickory police officers had to use deadly force against Cribb. In that incident, officers who were trying to arrest Cribb for Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon and Kidnapping were forced to fire shots, striking Cribb, according to the news release.
Cribb was admitted to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He had been on the run since failing to appear in court to answer to those charges, according to the news release.