Shooting suspect takes own life in standoff

By Mary Katherine Murphy

May 25, 2014

LAUREL HILL — A man suspected of a double shooting and armed robbery earlier this week took his own life on Friday in an armed standoff with authorities, according to the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

Michael Barrow, 36, of 9361 Malloy Ave., Laurel Hill, was wanted on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, three counts of armed robbery, two counts of second-degree kidnapping and one count of shooting into an occupied dwelling. He was last seen on Tuesday morning, traveling west on U.S. 74 in a stolen pickup truck.

On Friday, the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office received a call that Barrow had been sighted in some woods on Marsh Road, according to a statement the department released Friday. Deputies and N.C. Highway Patrol troopers responded to the area and began to track Barrow using the department’s K-9s.

Barrow was found in the woods about one mile from the road, at which point he produced a handgun, and in an “armed standoff” held the weapon to his head, according to deputies.

“We talked to him to try and get him to put the gun down and give himself up without harming himself or anyone else,” said sheriff’s Capt. Jon Edwards.

But after two hours of such negotiations, Barrow, who had a history of mental illness, committed suicide by pulling the trigger, Edwards said. His death was immediate.

Barrow had allegedly shot and injured two men in their home before dawn on Tuesday, fleeing on a bicycle and showing up later that morning at Oxendine’s Produce, where he used to work. Employees said he took two cellphones, cash and a truck, which he was seen driving on U.S. 74.

Both shooting victims were treated at Scotland Memorial Hospital on Tuesday and released the same day.

The State Bureau of Investigation is conducting an investigation into Barrow’s death, which Edwards said is standard protocol in fatal shootings involving law enforcement.

Reach Mary Katherine Murphy at 910-276-2311, ext. 17. Follow her on Twitter @emkaylbg.