A Forsyth County judge has sentenced Quinton Donnell Blocker to more than 33 years in prison for shooting a Kernersville police officer in the face.

The February 2021 shooting almost killed former officer Sean Houle after a bullet entered his jaw and opened up a carotid artery, according to court testimony. In his last message to dispatchers that night, Houle told them, “I’m dying.” 

In court, facing his attacker, Houle said he had a decision to make: let the incident define his life or try to make something positive out of it through his faith in God.

He chose the latter. At a press conference afterward, he recounted telling Blocker he could do the same thing.

“He can let this shooting define his life in a negative way; he can just carry on being the same Quinton that he was,” Houle said. “Or he can go to the cross, and he can ask for forgiveness of our Father.”

District attorney Jim O’Neill remembered going to the hospital to see Houle while the officer’s fate was uncertain.

“I met Sean’s wife, his family. We held hands. We prayed,” he said. “Because at that moment that’s all you can do.” 

The incident ended Houle’s career as a policeman, a job he said he loved.

Blocker faced six felony charges in connection with the shooting, including attempted murder and assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer. Judge Richard Gottlieb sentenced him to a total minimum for all charges of more than 400 months in prison. 


  • Photo shows Sean Houle and his wife.

    Sean Houle's wife, Ellie, comforts him as they listen to comments about his case during a press conference Monday. PAUL GARBER/WFDD

  • Photo shows an attorney sitting with Quinton Blocker.

    Defense attorney Dan Wanderman waits with Quinton Blocker as Blocker prepares to enter a guilty plea in the shooting of Kernersville police officer Sean Houle Monday. PAUL GARBER/WFDD

  • Photo shows Quinton Blocker.

    Quinton Blocker turns to look at people in the courtroom as he waits to be sentenced for shooting Kernersville police officer Sean Houle. PAUL GARBER/WFDD

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