Two Beaufort officers who shot and killed a man on Halloween
night were justified in using lethal force, according to the District Attorney
and State Bureau of Investigation.
The two officers, Detective Eric Sassano and Officer Brian Willis, were the first to respond to reports of a shooting on Rutledge Ave. That's where they found Arthur Page, of Raleigh, after he shot two people and refused to drop his weapon. Page was killed after the two opened fire on him.
Both men were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
The incident happened just hours after trick-or-treaters left the neighborhood, when three people were shot, one of them fatally. It happened in Beaufort around 10:30 p.m. in the 200 block of Rutledge Avenue.
Police say Page showed up at his sister's doorstep and threatened to harm her.
"He came up to me and said, ‘Happy Halloween. I'm going to settle the score,'" said his sister, Susan Zimmerman Salazar.
Salazar says her brother, who lives in Durham, showed up drunk in her backyard with a double barrel shotgun. She ran to her neighbor's house, but her brother followed.
"He just started slamming me with his fist and I grabbed the barrel of the gun and we just fought," she said.
Salazar says she was nearly unconscious from the beatings, when police showed up in the nick of time. Her neighbor was not present when police arrived.
"He [Page] had me pinned down with his leg and I was about to black out and I knew he was reloading the gun," said Salazar.
"I will go out on a limb and say these officers are heroes in my eyes," said Chief Steve Lewis of the Beaufort Police Department.
And for their quick thinking, they're heroes in Salazar's eyes, too.
"When they told him to drop it twice and he didn't, they had to shoot and it saved my life," said Salazar.
Salazar says her brother had an undiagnosed mental illness, and that he was jealous of her because their father had left her a larger inheritance than him. Despite her brother's death, she says she has no regrets about the police's actions.
Salazar was treated and released from Carteret General Hospital in Morehead City.
Salazar says her neighbor, Macarthur Wright, was taken to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville for surgery.