Wake’s deputy shooting suspect had mental health issues
The Raleigh man accused of shooting a sheriff’s deputy with an AK-47 was struggling with mental health issues and was largely estranged from his family, his mother said Thursday.
Neighbors at his apartment complex said he survived multiple jobs until the pandemic put him out of work.
Eddie D. Craig, 32, is being held in Wake County Jail on attempted murder and other charges accused of shooting Wake Sheriff Sgt. Ronald Waller as he attempted to serve an eviction notice on Wednesday.
Waller, a 20-year Sheriff’s Office veteran, underwent surgery at WakeMed and began what spokesperson Eric Curry called “a long road to recovery.”
Sheriff Gerald Baker said Waller attempted to serve the civil summons at Craig’s apartment on Old Wake Forest Road in North Raleigh on Wednesday morning, but no one responded to his blow.
He returned and found Craig’s door partially open, stopped a man inside from trying to close the door, and was hit twice by gunfire from inside the apartment.
“I just knew he had problems”
Craig’s mother, Louise Cole, told News & Observer Thursday: “I just knew he was having problems. He just stayed away from his family.
Cole, who lives in Alabama, said Craig moved to Raleigh about five years ago and that she believed he was seeking medical attention here. She said she would often ask the Wake County Sheriff to perform welfare checks and that she would hear that he did not respect her personal hygiene.
“He left home four or five years ago, and this is the last time I saw him,” said his sister, Latoyia Craig, also in Alabama.
Outside Craig’s apartment on Thursday, neighbor Stanley Santana said Craig had spoken of serving with the Marines in Iraq. Santana said much of the neighborhood heard Craig describe the post-traumatic stress disorder he experienced.
Santana said he believed Craig placed his military service time around 2003 and 2004, but was unaware that Craig was 32 and would have been a teenager at the time.
“He just told me that (the stuff) was crazy over there,” Santana said. “Random bombs go off and everything. “
Craig’s mother said he did not serve in the military during his youth in Alabama, but she was unsure of his more recent record. He got in trouble, “stealing and everything” while he was at home and she had to kick him out, she said.
Shouting at the managers of the apartment
Santana said evictions at their apartment complex were common enough that he was not surprised to see an MP’s car on Wednesday. Just two weeks earlier, he said, management had attempted to get Craig out of his apartment without law enforcement assistance.
“He basically yelled at them to get out of there,” Santana said.
River Birch at Town Center is on a set of private streets with licensed parking. His office was not taking calls on Thursday and texts from The News & Observer went unanswered.
Debra Daniels, speaking with Santana near Craig’s apartment, said she was also standing in the parking lot when the shots were fired on Wednesday and she hit the ground.
“Eddie was a good person,” she said Thursday. “He didn’t bother anyone. I just wish he had let the police do their job. Maybe someone could have helped him get rent together.
Craig had no criminal record in North Carolina.
The two neighbors said Craig had lived in his apartment for about two years. He had worked in a Jiffy Lube and an Arby’s, and they saw him come home in his fast food uniform, carrying a take out meal.
“Then the pandemic struck,” Santana said.