Murder Suspect Shot, Killed By Wilkes County Deputy

LENOIR, N.C. — A North Carolina man suspected in a woman’s stabbing death was shot and killed by a Wilkes County deputy hours after the victim’s body was found dead in Caldwell County, authorities said.

The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office said deputies went looking for Thomas Billings on Friday to serve him with a domestic violence order filed by a woman he had been living with, news outlets reported. Deputies could not find Billings when they went to serve him, the sheriff’s office said.

Authorities said the woman, identified as Tracy Rash, went to the home in Caldwell County and was on the phone with a relative when that relative heard a commotion and the phone went dead. Rash had gone to the house to pick up some items, the sheriff’s office said. Rash was pronounced dead at the scene and her car had been stolen, authorities said.

News outlets said Wilkes County sheriff’s deputies found Billings at a family member’s home. According to the deputies, the man was holding what appeared to be a rifle and refused to put it down. It was determined that the weapon was an air rifle, officials said.