Suspect dead, officer shot while executing search warrant in Hickory

Cigi Sparks
Staff Writer

An officer-involved shooting that occurred Friday morning in Hickory left a citizen dead, and an officer injured.

The incident occurred when members of the Hickory Police Special Operations Team were attempting to serve a narcotics related search warrant around 7:30 a.m. at a residence located at 1252 12th Street Place. 

Once officers entered into the residence, they encountered William David Whetstone, 33, who was the subject of the search warrant, according to a press release from the Hickory Police Department. During the encounter, officers told Whetstone not to move, however, he reached between two cushions on his sofa and pulled out a handgun, then proceeded to point it at officers, according to the release.

Whetstone shot at officers, hitting one in the arm. The officers shot at Whetstone, killing him. He was declared dead at the scene, according to the release.
Whetstone had pending cases with the Catawba County justice system in relation to charges of trafficking, armed robbery, drug possession and habitual felony. He was scheduled to appear in court on Monday in relation to a charge of trafficking heroin, according to reports. 

Sergeant Rodney N. Harris was the officer shot in the altercation. He was treated for his injuries and later released. 

The two officers that shot at Whetstone during the incident were Master Police Officer David H. Lee and Sergeant Randy W. Isenhour. Both officers have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in officer involved shootings, according to the release.

“This is a tragic situation and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved,” said Hickory Police Chief Thurman Whisnant in a press release. 

The State Bureau of Investigation will be conducting an independent officer involved shooting investigation following the incident, which is also standard procedure.

No further information has been released at this time.