Off-Duty Officer Shot While Saving Assault Victim’s Life

 January 28, 2024

In the quiet town of Dunn, North Carolina, a story of bravery and quick action unfolded, turning an ordinary day into an extraordinary display of heroism. On a September evening in 2023, a disturbance at a local Exxon gas station escalated into a life-threatening situation, only to be diffused by the courageous actions of an off-duty police officer.

This incident not only demonstrated the unyielding commitment of our first responders but also highlighted the ever-present dangers they face, even while off duty.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office received an urgent 911 call from the Exxon gas station on Ramsey Street in Linden. A woman, in a state of distress, had urged the clerk to contact emergency services. The situation rapidly deteriorated as Daniel Locklear, the perpetrator, became increasingly hostile towards the woman, culminating in a violent assault.

Chaos Erupts: A Dangerous Turn of Events

Inside the gas station, Dunn Police Investigator Josh Elliott, off-duty at the time, witnessed the escalation and bravely intervened. What started as an attempt to de-escalate the situation quickly spiraled out of control. Locklear, armed and dangerous, drew his handgun and began firing as he fled the scene.

Investigator Elliott, caught in the line of fire, was struck by a bullet. Despite his injury, he managed to return fire, striking Locklear several times, CBS17 reported.

This quick and decisive action by Elliott likely prevented further harm to those present. Both Elliott and Locklear were subsequently transported to the hospital for medical treatment.

Recognition of Bravery and Service

In the aftermath of this harrowing incident, the City of Dunn rightfully honored Investigator Elliott with a life-saving award. The proclamation from the city acknowledged the gravity of his actions, emphasizing how his intervention saved multiple lives, including the initial female victim, the store clerk, and other customers present during the incident.

Mayor William Elmore Jr. expressed deep gratitude towards Investigator Elliott, stating, "Investigator Joshua Elliott for recognizing the severity of this situation and taking immediate action to save the lives of those in harm’s way."

Locklear, meanwhile, faced serious legal repercussions for his actions. He was charged with multiple offenses, including four counts of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, second-degree kidnapping, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, among others.

Commitment Beyond the Badge

The city’s proclamation also shed light on Investigator Elliott’s dedication to his career and his unwavering commitment to public safety. His years of training and experience as a police officer were instrumental in his ability to respond effectively in such a critical situation.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers that law enforcement officers face daily, whether on duty or not. Investigator Elliott's actions embody the spirit of the law enforcement oath of office, demonstrating a commitment to protect and serve at all times.

The event at the Exxon gas station on Ramsey Street may have ended differently had it not been for the heroism of Investigator Elliott. His quick thinking and bravery under fire ensured the safety of everyone present and neutralized a potentially deadly threat.

The Enduring Impact of a Heroic Act

The story of Investigator Elliott’s heroism is a powerful testament to the character and dedication of our first responders. It serves as a reminder of the risks they take and the sacrifices they make to ensure our safety. His actions stand as a beacon of hope and bravery in a world often overshadowed by violence and fear.

As we reflect on this incident, we are reminded of the crucial role that first responders play in our communities. They are the unsung heroes who put their lives on the line for the safety of others. Investigator Elliott's actions are a shining example of this selfless dedication.

In times of crisis, it is the courage and quick action of individuals like Investigator Elliott that make all the difference. His heroic act not only saved lives that day but also reinforced the bond of trust and respect between law enforcement and the community they serve.

  • An off-duty Dunn police officer, Investigator Josh Elliott, was honored with a life-saving award for his heroism.
  • The incident occurred at an Exxon gas station in Linden.
  • Daniel Locklear, the assailant, faced multiple charges, including attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.
  • The City of Dunn's proclamation highlighted Elliott's dedication to his career.
  • The incident underscores the constant risks faced by law enforcement officers and their essential role in community safety.

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