In the past two days, we've seen two black men—Alton Sterling and Philando Castile—fatally gunned down by police officers in two different states while legally carrying, but not holding or pointing, a firearm.
And then there's William Bruce Ray of Raleigh, N.C., who was safely apprehended after pointing a pistol at a Wake County sheriff's deputy this week.
According to WRAL, the incident unfolded Tuesday after Sheriff's Deputy D.R. Farmer stopped to question Ray after receiving reports of a man pointing a shotgun at passing drivers. Ray reportedly became combative and pointed a gun at Farmer.
"The deputy luckily grabbed the barrel and pushed him back," Sheriff Donnie Harrison said. "The man says, 'I got something for you' and reached in his pocket and came back with a pistol."
As Deputy Farmer pushed the .22-caliber weapon aside, the gun went off.
"Luckily, nobody got hurt. That’s the good thing. God was looking out for us," Harrison said. "[Ray] was very fortunate that he didn’t get shot, very fortunate that anybody didn’t get shot."
It is unclear why Ray was allegedly pointing a shotgun at passersby, but Harrison said the 62-year-old had been drinking.
"He was very angry about something. We’re trying to piece it together. He’s not being real cooperative with us," he said.
Tommy Manning, Ray's attorney, said that he has known the defendant for 26 years and that Ray suffers from mental illness. Manning requested a lower bond, explaining that Ray poses no flight risk and has to support his family, but a judge denied the request, setting bail at $150,000.
Ray is facing charges of assault on a law-enforcement officer with a firearm, which could likely be upgraded to attempted murder, a prosecutor said in court Wednesday.
The 62-year-old is also charged with injury to personal property after allegedly damaging a surveillance camera in the sheriff's office.
"We had him in interrogation room where we talk to people. We try to film it and record everything for investigative purposes. He got angry and snatched the cameras off the wall," Harrison said.
Read more at WRAL.