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Deputy shot after suspect puts her in stranglehold, gun goes off during struggle

Deputy Caitlin Emanuel, who is expected to recover, was shot in the leg


Deputy Caitlin Emanuel.

Photo/Sheriff Jimmy Thornton via Facebook

By Sarah Calams

ROSEBORO, N.C. — A deputy was shot in the leg with her own service weapon during a struggle with a suspect over the weekend.

Sampson County Sheriff’s Deputy Caitlin Emanuel, who has been with the department for two years, responded to reports of a vehicle theft around 2 a.m. Saturday, according to the Charlotte Observer. Shortly after making contact with the suspect, Emanuel called for backup. When another deputy arrived, he discovered Emanuel had been shot in the leg.

“An individual came up and she approached the individual to start questioning … and he put a [stranglehold] around her neck. Her weapon went off,” Sheriff Jimmy Thornton told “She is young, like a lot of our officers now.”

Emanuel was airlifted to a hospital, where she underwent surgery for a broken bone in her leg. She is expected to recover, according to Thornton.

Police arrested and charged the suspect, 36-year-old Michael Walthall, within three hours of the shooting. A fund was set up for Emanuel’s medical expenses.