Detention Officer In Critical Condition After Being Shot On Lunch Break

A detention officer with the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office is hospitalized in critical condition after being shot on her lunch break today (Tuesday). Around 1:00pm Sampson County deputies responded to a report of a shooting on Water House Circle.

Deputies arrived and found a female on the ground outside the residence with an apparent gunshot wound. Deputies immediately recognized the victim as Zarya Ashley, a Detention Officer with the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office. Ashley was airlifted to a medical facility where she is in critical condition.

Through the investigation it was learned that Ashley went to the residence during her lunch hour and a dispute ensued between Ashley and an acquaintance. During the dispute, Ashley was shot.

Following a lead, the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office responded with the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office to a residence on NC 11 in Duplin County this afternoon. Deputies located a suspect wanted in connection with the shooting incident. The suspect was taken into custody without incident. The name of the suspect has not been released.

Authorities said this was an isolated incident and the sole suspect in custody.

In a statement this evening, Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said, “The victim had just obtained a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and was new to our agency. She had a promising career ahead of herself and was loved by her co-workers. We ask that you pray for the victim, her family and our Sheriff’s Office.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.