ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - A man died after a home invasion and armed robbery in the 1800 block of Darian Drive early Thursday morning.
Authorities with the Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office say around 12:30 a.m. Thursday, a man and a woman were approached by someone who broke into their home. The suspects assaulted the residents before taking money, jewelry and other valuables from the home.
The male victim, identified as 55-year-old Milton Henry Sawyer, Jr., died after an altercation with the suspect. The unidentified female victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment and was later released.
Neighbors told News 3's Samantha German a crime like this is unusual for the community where everyone knows everyone.
"To my surprise, I saw all of the sheriff's cars," said resident Ron Leigh. "There must have been about 12 or 13 sheriff's cars lined up along the street here."
Another neighbor said he woke up to officers knocking on his door around 3 a.m.
"He just asked if I [had] seen anything, if there was any strange things going on here. If I heard anything," said Josh Springsteen.
Shaken and some scared, neighbors say with knowing very little of what happened, they still can't get over something like this happening in a place built on trust.
"Our grandkids come over. We have a golf cart and they ride the bicycles around the neighborhood," Leigh said. "We have no fear of our safety because it's really a quiet, peaceful neighborhood."
The exact cause of death will be determined after the State Medical Examiner's Office completes the autopsy.
The Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations are continuing to investigate this homicide.
Anyone who has information about this incident is asked to call the Crime Line at (252) 335-5555 or the Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office at (252) 338-2191.