Police: Locksmith Fires Gun During Dispute With Customer

A local locksmith is facing criminal charges after police said he fired a gun during a dispute with a customer on Monday. The gun, police said, had also been reported stolen.

Around 1:15pm, Smithfield Police responded to Pitchi Street off N. Brightleaf Boulevard.

Police Chief Keith Powell said a woman had called a locksmith several days ago asking for him to unlock her car. The woman called the locksmith again Monday asking when he would arrive. The locksmith, identified as 58 year-old Charles Michael Lancaster of Old Batten Road, Selma, reportedly told her he was on Pitchi Street at her car.  The victim told police she could see her car while talking with Lancaster on her phone and that he was not there.

The victim said she contacted another locksmith who arrived quickly and was in the process of unlocking her car when Lancaster arrived.

During a verbal dispute, Lancaster allegedly fired a gun into the ground.  Lancaster was still on the scene when police arrived.  Police seized the Smith & Wesson handgun which had been reported stolen in Rocky Mount, Chief Powell said.

According to the NC Locksmith Board website, Lancaster is a licensed locksmith.

Lancaster was arrested and charged with going armed to the terror of the public, possession of a stolen firearm and assault.  He was taken to the Johnston County Jail and given a $25,000 bond.  No injuries were reported.