Alamance County Sheriff’s Office Crisis Negotiators Lieutenant Brad Hall and Sgt. Matt Ward receive the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation Director’s Partnership Award for Merit. The Award was presented by SBI Director Bob Schurmeier at SBI Headquarters in Raleigh on Tuesday May 16, 2023.
“In August of 2022, deputies with the Caswell County Sheriff’s Department were attempting to serve a Domestic Violence Restraining Order on Kevin DeSilva in Semora, NC. When the deputies arrived on scene, DeSilva opened fire on them, striking one with three rounds and unloading over 50 rounds of ammunition at the deputy’s patrol car. DeSilva proceeded to barricade himself inside his residence, firing rounds at officers throughout the day.
The Alamance County Special Response Team (SRT) was requested to respond.
Alamance County Detectives Lieutenant Brad Hall and Sgt. Matt Ward also responded to the mutual aid call by Caswell County for negotiators. Ward was able to establish a line of communication with DeSilva using his cell phone while Hall served as a coach.
SBI Negotiators were also requested to assist. Special Agents Michael Johnston, Nicole Ward, Will Cannon and West Team Leader Chris Chambliss responded to the scene. Upon arrival, Special Agents Johnston and Ward were directed to a vehicle where negotiations were attempting to be established by Alamance County negotiators.
The situation provided a challenging environment because negotiations were conducted using cellular phones. There was very limited coverage in the area, therefore negotiators had to remain stationary in the patrol vehicle and conduct negotiations from where they were positioned. Requests were made by command staff for Negotiators to move closer to the Incident Command Center to assist with intel communications, but the move would have hindered communications with DeSilva.
Despite the limitations in the environment, negotiations with DeSilva were established and progressed in a positive manner. DeSilva provided information to negotiators about weapons, ammunition, body armor, and potential explosives located in and around DeSilva’s residence. DeSilva also told negotiators the positioning of law enforcement personnel, which elevated the safety concern of the scene.
SBI Agents Mike Johnston and Nicole Ward assisted with intel and coaching to Det. Ward and Lt. Hall within the vehicle as well as providing the status of negotiations to command staff. Will and CNT West Team Leader Chris Chambliss provided negotiator intel support at the Command Center. SA Ward continued to send text messages regarding the status of the negotiations.
After a few hours, negotiators were disconnected from DeSilva’s cell phone. ASAC Long was able to obtain a land line phone number for DeSilva so negotiations could continue. After an approximately 6-hour standoff, DeSilva surrendered himself to Lieutenant Brad Hall and Sgt. Matt Ward.
In a situation such as this, it takes the trust and teamwork of all parties to ensure that the best course of action is taken. The personnel on scene trusted in the ability of the negotiators and refrained from employing various tactical solutions. Without the patience and communication skills exhibited by all of the negotiators, the incident would have surely ended with injury or loss of life.
Alamance County Negotiators Matt Ward and Brad Hall are deserving of the Partnership Award for Merit. Their training, patience and discipline paid off in this situation, saving injury and possible loss of life. We thank all of them collectively for their great work.”