Man accused of attempting to murder 3 officers in Caldwell County spent more than a decade in prison

A man accused of attempting to murder three officers in Caldwell County spent more than a decade in prison, records show. An hours-long manhunt in Caldwell County Thursday afternoon ended when the convicted felon, who authorities say opened fire during a traffic stop, was shot and killed by U.S. Marshals. 

Kentrey Witherspoon, 28, was killed at a furniture plant in Lenoir where he led police after fleeing. 

"It's painful in a small community like this," neighbor Draven Watson said. 

The incident began early Thursday morning when authorities initiated a traffic stop near First Baptist Church of Hudson on Main Street. According to the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office, Witherspoon opened fire on three officers and took off. 


"I know all of the Hudson police officers pretty well and they're a pretty tight-knit group of people and when something like that happens in our hometown it's pretty troublesome," said Watson. 

Multiple agencies searched the town for Witherspoon. The manhunt forced a nearby middle school into a soft lockdown and school buses were re-routed. 

"One street over from my house and they had it all blocked off early this morning. I was concerned about taking my son to school but they said they had everything on soft lockdown so that made me feel a little bit better," Watson said. 

Police learned Witherspoon was inside the furniture plant on Shasta Drive and employees were evacuated. The SWAT team was called in while police negotiated with him.

Around 2 p.m. FOX 46 news crews heard three gunshots at the plant we're told Witherspoon was shot by U.S. Marshals. EMTs were brought, but Witherspoon was pronounced dead.

No officers were hurt during the course of the day. Right now the SBI is investigating and the plant remains closed.