Charges Filed Involving Multiple Pellet Gun Shootings

The Wake County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO), with assistance from area law enforcement agencies, have charged a man allegedly responsible for numerous pellet gun shootings dating back to March of last year.

Henderson Atwater

Investigators arrested and charged 44-year-old Henderson Atwater. The Holly Springs man is charged with 26 felony counts of discharging a weapon or firearm into occupied property, 2 counts of discharging a weapon into an occupied dwelling, 2 counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and one count of assault with a deadly weapon.

Finding Atwater was not difficult for investigators because he was already in custody on unrelated outstanding charges.

Since March 2020, the WCSO received 32 reports of incidents of cars, persons and houses being shot by a pellet gun. The first reported incident occurred on March 7, 2020, the last on January 20, 2021. All the incidents occurred in southwestern Wake County, with the majority taking place along Piney Grove Wilbon Road, between Fuquay-Varina and Holly Springs.

Locations of Incidents:

  • 1500-3337 Piney Grove Wilbon Road, Fuquay-Varina, and Holly Springs
  • 1500-4000 New Hill Holleman Road, New Hill
  • 7228 Cass Holt Road, Holly Springs
  • 5017 Friendship Road, New Hill
  • 6325 Mims Road, Holly Springs
  • 1205-1609 W. Academy Street, Fuquay-Varina

During the investigation it was discovered that in all 26 cases in which cars were struck by pellets, the victims were driving at the time of the incident and were struck by the suspect as he was travelling in the opposite direction. In two of those incidents, the drivers were struck and injured.

Following multiple interviews with the victims, investigators received a break in the case when one of Atwater’s victims was able to identify the suspect’s car. Through investigative means, deputies were able to connect Atwater to the shootings.

No additional reports of pellet gun shootings have been received in the general area by any agency since Atwater’s arrest on January 21. Atwater remains in custody at the Wake County Detention Center.

Any similar, unreported incidents should be reported to the Wake County Sheriff’s Office by calling 919-856-6911.