Steven Dewayne Haizlip is a Winston-Salem sanitation worker who has been named by the police chief as the shooter in a deadly incident that unfolded on December 20, 2019 at the Joycelyn V. Johnson Municipal Services Center on Lowery Street.
That’s a public works building. When it was all over, according to a press conference given by the police chief, Steven Dewayne Haizlip, who worked for the city, had killed a fellow city worker at the building, shot another, shot a police officer, and then was killed himself by police at the scene.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Victim Was a Sanitation Worker & Police Characterized the Shooting as Workplace-Related
Online records show Steven Haizlip with an address history in North Carolina and in Washington State throughout the years.
City officials gathered for a news conference on the incident. They declared themselves “very saddened” by the event that happened today and confirmed that “two city employees were deceased” and a sergeant was injured who “very bravely took on the situation.”
Police Chief Catrina Thompson said in the press conference that “gun violence” is law enforcement’s biggest challenge in the region. “This morning it again became prevalent in our city,” Thompson said.
She offered “heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of our city family today as well as the family and friends of all of our victims of gun violence.”
At 6:37 a.m., she said, police were dispatched to the municipal services center, a City of Winston-Salem government facility that houses engineering field offices, sanitation, employee development, and other city offices. The initial dispatch was to a shooting call. The 911 center received multiple calls from city employees.
In four minutes, the first officer was at the scene. Officers heard shots “still being fired on the west side of the Johnson Center complex,” she said.
The officers entered the complex. They “moved directly toward the threat.” They confronted the shooter.
Police officers located Terry Lee Cobb Jr., 48, another city employee, deceased inside the building. He worked for the city for 20 years and “appeared to be the primary target” of the shooter, said the chief. They also found a second victim who was wounded by a gunshot. He is expected to survive and is not being named.
“Based on what we know at this time, it appears that Mr. Cobb was the specific target of Mr. Haizlip,” Thompson stated.
No one else was specifically or randomly targeted, she said, so the event was being categorized as a “workplace violence incident.” However, she indicated that she hopes citizens have prepared “for this and other acts of violence, such as active shooter events.” She says that “for years,” the city has prepared its employees for incidents of this nature.
Haizlip Had Worked for the City for 12 Years
The police chief said Steven Haizlip was 61 years old and a 12 year city employee who was “encountered outside the building where a short gunfight ensued.”
He was killed in the gunfight with police, she said. “One police officer was injured. He’s identified as Sgt. Cameron Stewart Sloan,” a 22-year veteran. He was struck by gunfire and another officer applied a tourniquet. He was immediately taken to surgery.
The chief has met with him and his family. “We are taking care of him and his needs,” she said.
According to WLOS-TV, Haizlip and Cobb had a “longstanding dislike for each other,” although authorities didn’t detail it. They had been involved in a fight the day before, according to the station. Haizlip had multiple firearms, the station reported.