Press "Enter" to skip to content

Updated: 2 Injured, St. Pauls Man in Custody After Shooting at Smithfield Foods

Update on November 26, 2019

Two people were shot on Thursday, November 21st at Smithfield Foods and Jaquante Hakeem Williams is in custody on two felony charges, according to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office.

According to reports, Williams had altercations with the male victim before the shooting on Thursday took place, however, the female victim was an innocent by-standard caught in the line of fire. Friends of Williams reported the male victim had “been bullying Williams for a while”.

Williams’ mother reported the male victim in the case assaulted her son at Smithfield days before the shooting.

ATF Charlotte K-9 JAM


The Charlotte Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced on Twitter their K-9 JAM helped in the investigation.

“Another big day for the ATF Charlotte’s canine JAM. JAM located a firearm believed to have been used in a recent shooting at a food packing plant in Tar Heel, NC. Good job, JAM!” @ATFCharlotte tweeted on November 22,” was the tweet from @ATFCharlotte.

Update on November 21, 2019 at 10:08 pm:

Listen to the 911 call from Smithfield:

Smithfield Foods released the following statement the day of the event:

“We are shocked and saddened by the senseless shooting that took place at our Tar Heel, North Carolina, processing facility overnight. Our thoughts and prayers are with our two Smithfield Family members who suffered serious injuries and were taken by life flight to hospitals, their families and loved ones,” said Keira Lombardo, an executive vice president for Smithfield Foods. “The safety and security of our employees is our top priority, and the facility was immediately evacuated in accordance with our previously established protocol. We will provide support to all our team members directly and indirectly impacted by this incident. We are so thankful for the quick response of the Bladen County Sheriff’s Department and our own brave team members who assisted in apprehending the suspect, who is an employee of a third-party vendor. We are working closely with law enforcement and will provide updates as appropriate.”

Article first published on November 21, 2019 at 7:08 am:

Two people were shot early Thursday morning at Smithfield Foods and a man is in custody, the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office said.

Jaquante Hakeem Williams (pictured), 20, of St. Pauls, has been charged with two counts of attempted first degree murder, according to a news release. He is being held in the Bladen County Detention Center without bond.

A reason for the shooting was not given.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to the hog processing plant outside of Tar Heel about 12:14 a.m. Thursday in regards to an active shooter.

After arriving on scene, officers found two people shot inside the administrative building. The suspect had fled the scene.

Investigators, with the cooperation of a person who knew Williams, were able to track him down, the Sheriff’s Office said. He was arrested without incident. The news release did not say where Williams was apprehended.

The people shot, Michelle Hernandez and Anthony Ratley, were flown via helicopters to UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill and New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington for treatment, the Sheriff’s Office statement said. They were in stable condition, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The news release did not say where the victims were from.

Smithfield Foods was evacuated for a short period of time until the suspect was apprehended, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Employees were allowed to return to work after the suspect was apprehended.

“We were just very fortunate to apprehend the suspect as soon as we did and that no other persons were injured,” Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker said. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families and we wish them a speedy recovery.”

The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina Highway Patrol, Bladenboro Police Department, Bladen County Emergency Services, UNC Air Care helicopter and AirLink helicopter from NHRMC assisted during the incident.

Mission News Theme by Compete Themes.