ROLESVILLE, N.C. – The death of the Rolesville police chief has been ruled a suicide, Wake Forest police said Thursday.
Bobby Langston II, 45, (pictured) was found dead in his home around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a news release.
A woman who called 911 said her husband had shot himself in a bedroom and that he “left a note,” without disclosing what it said. The caller said her daughter was also at the home, reported The News Observer.
Rolesville police asked Wake Forest Police Department to investigate because of “the tragic nature of this loss and severe emotional impact on all members of the Rolesville Police Department,” the release said.
Langston grew up in Wendell, which is where he began his career in law enforcement more than 22 years ago. He was sworn in as an officer there in 1994, and rose through the ranks to eventually become captain.
He joined Rolesville Police Department in 2013 and became chief in 2015. The town of Rolesville is located about 15 miles northeast of downtown Raleigh. It has seen tremendous growth that put more demands on the small-town police department.
With a population of roughly 6,000, Rolesville is a popular bedroom community for families looking for a suburban setting, according to the Observer.
Langston oversaw two cases that shocked the community and catapulted the town into the news.
In December 2015, police determined that Kristy Bryan started a fire at her Rolesville home that killed her and her 3-year-old son, Tyler. Tyler’s twin was also injured in the blaze. The tragedy was classified a murder-suicide.
Two months ago, a video was posted on Twitter showing a police officer slamming a Rolesville High School student to the floor. School Resource Officer Ruben De Los Santos of Rolesville Police Department was placed on administrative leave and later resigned.
Flags in Rolesville were lowered to half-staff Thursday to honor Langston, and town hall is closed for the rest of the week.
The news release from the town said Langston was “admired and respected” in the community.
“He stood for character and ethics and ran the Department likewise,” it said. “He will truly be missed.”
“I’m at a loss for words,” Town Manager Bryan Hicks said Thursday. “Not only has the community lost our chief of police, I’ve lost my friend.”
Teresa Piner, Wendell Town Manager, said the Rolesville police chief was a dedicated employee during his time with the town.
“He was one of those officers that cared about citizens,” Piner said. “He was a good friend to everyone. We could all depend on him, whether at work or after hours.”
Langston was active in his community. He served as president of the PTA at Wendell elementary and middle schools, which his daughters attended. He also coached softball for Wendell’s parks and recreation department, said Mayor Virginia Gray, who knew Langston for more than 20 years.
The Langston family attended Hepzibah Baptist Church in Wendell for many years, said Kerry Zimmerman, director of children’s ministries at the church.
Rolesville Police Chief Langston volunteered to teach Sunday school classes for toddlers for about six years. Children loved the class, she said.
“He recognized the benefit to investing in girls and boys at an early age,” Zimmerman said. “He was selfless, and he loved his classroom.”
(Feature image newscast screenshot)