Shots were fired between officers and a gunman at a church in Canton, North Carolina, Wednesday afternoon.
Deputies responded to the Maple Grove Baptist Church after a man called 911 dispatchers shortly after 3 p.m. to report he was holding hostages at the church.
“It was kind of scary,” Bill Miller, the assistant director of emergency management with Haywood County, tells PEOPLE. “He said he had hostages in the church and he was going to take actions against them and hung up. It was a very short and terse conversation.”
The man, who is described as a 40-year-old white male, fired shots at the officers when they arrived at the church. The officers returned gunfire and the man was shot outside the church. No one else was injured.