According to the Lenoir News-Topic, sheriff’s deputies responded to a disturbance call from Settlemyre’s wife, Linda, who told police her husband was armed and barricaded in the basement of their home on Northwood Drive. Caldwell County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene, only to have the 67-year old Settlemyre emerge from the home and begin firing. A brief shootout ensued with Settlemyre suffering fatal gunshot wounds in his backyard.
Settlemyre was a standout in Late Model Sportsman racing at Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway, winning five races from 1977 to 1981. He made six starts on the NASCAR Grand National (now Nationwide) Series in 1982, claiming his lone career victory on June 19 of that year, topping Tommy Ellis and Sam Ard in the “Winston 200” at Hickory. He recorded four Top-10 finishes in six career Grand National starts.
Caldwell County Sheriff Alan Jones called the shooting, “a tragic situation,” adding, “our deepest sympathy goes out to the family of the suspect. I’m grateful that the officers involved are safe and proud of the job they did today. This is never the outcome that we want when we respond to a call for assistance.”