BUIES CREEK, N.C. — A standoff at Campbell University ended peacefully Wednesday after a student who had slipped out of handcuffs and locked himself in his home surrendered to sheriff's deputies following a three-hour lockdown of the campus.
Jared Dale Knight, a 24-year-old freshman who recently received a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force, was being served with a warrant when he broke away from police and locked himself inside his room. As a precaution, the university canceled evening classes and police told students and faculty to remain indoors while officers surrounded the building.
Knight was arrested on Tuesday and charged with stealing an AR-15 carbine from a Fuquay-Varina gun store where he worked. Police in that town said they were looking into a report that other guns had been stolen from the store, but the carbine had been recovered. Following the first arrest, Knight was released after posting a $3,000 bond.
Assistant gun shop manager Steve Maley said Knight started working at the store in the summer as a part-timer. Knight was very nice and clean-cut and nice with customers, Maley said.
"He seemed knowledgeable about guns," Maley said.
Knight told his co-workers, some of whom were combat veterans, that he earned a Bronze Star, Maley said, but he was vague about the details and the veterans questioned his story.
"Combat veterans never talk about what they did," Maley said.
Maley said Knight also said he was a forward observer for the Air Force, but never said where.
According to records from the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals, Knight was given a bad-conduct discharge and a sentence of eight months' confinement by a military court at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas.
Knight was convicted of keeping a laser range finder, two radios, an infrared camera and a pair of binoculars that he found in a metal trash container. The military property was worth about $10,600.
Knight was living at the small, university-owned home on the edge of campus with two other students, according to Campbell spokesman Britt Davis. Davis said Knight had listed himself as an Air Force veteran on his application, but didn't say where he had served. The university was trying to help Knight get veteran's benefits, Davis said.
Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins said Knight was apparently concerned about the effect his arrest would have on his family.
"He had a lot of concern about what some other people were thinking of him, his parents particularly," Rollins said after the standoff ended. "He was concerned about them, and the issue of him being arrested last night. Kind of brought it together. That seemed to be a lot of his concern, his parents."
Knight was taken into custody in Harnett County and will face charges related to the standoff. A phone message left Wednesday evening at his father's home in Abilene, Texas, wasn't immediately returned.
The younger Knight was persuaded to come out of the house peacefully thanks largely to the efforts of the negotiator from the sheriff's office, Rollins said.
"I think he won his confidence and had him thinking clearly at the end that this needs to end," the sheriff said.