02/21/2007

N.C. man fatally shot during confrontation with SWAT

By Marcie Young
The Charlotte Observer, N.C.

A Catawba County man was shot to death during a confrontation with law enforcement authorities Tuesday.

Marty Dale Rogers, 32, was shot to death in a field near his home in Catawba County, northeast of Hickory, after the confrontation with the county's SWAT team. Authorities said they didn't know who fired first or who shot Rogers.

The shooting happened after the Catawba County Sheriff's Office received a call from mental health authorities about 11:30 a.m.. The mental health officials reported concerns about Rogers, said Sheriff David Huffman, who said Rogers may have threatened the mental health officials earlier in the day.

Sheriff's deputies went to pick up Rogers at his house, near Springs Road and Three D Ranch Road, but he fled in his pickup truck and led the officers on a chase around the area, Huffman said.

The chase ended near Rogers' house, after he stopped his truck behind a building at the intersection of Three D Ranch Road and Springs Road.

Rogers' neighbor, Jerry Sigmon, said he recognized Rogers and tried to approach him, but Rogers pointed a gun at Sigmon. When Rogers realized who Sigmon was, he lowered his gun, Sigmon said.

A female officer yelled at Sigmon to go into his house, and Sigmon complied, he said.

Shortly after that, the SWAT team showed up, Rogers said.

Rogers got out of his truck, with his weapon, which Huffman said was an automatic rifle, ran several hundred yards and they lay down on the ground. SWAT team members approached him and saw Rogers raise the gun, Huffman said.

Officers told Rogers to put the gun down, and he lowered it. He raised the gun again, was told to lower it and complied, Huffman said.

Then he raised the gun again, and several shots were fired. Huffman said he didn't know who fired the shots or who fired first, but Rogers was struck and killed.

Copyright 2007 The Charlotte Observer

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