Raleigh police fatally shot a man in southeast Raleigh, torched cars

Raleigh police say a man died on Saturday after four officers shot him outside a southeast Raleigh police station.

Officers shot him after they saw him throw “several” Molotov cocktails at vehicles in a parking lot near the police station, Chief Estella Patterson said at a press conference on Saturday evening. He then threw the “incendiary weapons” at officers, and one approached an officer, Patterson said.

Patterson did not release the man’s name or provide any other information about him, but said his family has been notified of his death.

The situation began around 1:20 p.m. when an agent from the departmental post of the south-eastern district of the 2800 block of Rock Quarry Road, off New Birch Drive, observed the man trying to set fire to several vehicles. The officer requested assistance from other officers, Patterson said.

At least three other officers responded and ordered the man to stop. Man continued to throw Molotov cocktails at vehicles; these are usually glass bottles with a fuse that contain a flammable liquid. After one of them approached an officer, all four officers fired at the man, who was punched “several times”, according to Patterson.

Officers then pulled the man away from a burning vehicle and attempted to perform CPR, Patterson said. The man was taken to hospital, where he died.

Patterson said at least two vehicles were “engulfed” in flames. Aerial footage shot by ABC11, The News & Observer’s news gathering partner, showed that at least one of the vehicles destroyed by flames was an RPD SUV.

Earlier Saturday, Lt. Chaz Moore of the Raleigh Fire Department said three engines along with a battalion chief and a division chief responded to the scene of the shooting to extinguish a vehicle that had burst into flames. When asked if it was an RPD vehicle that caught fire, Moore referred the N&O to Raleigh police.

Part of Rock Quarry Road remained blocked off by police for several hours on Saturday afternoon. The road was reopened shortly after 8 p.m.

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A burnt out police vehicle stands ready to be towed past the police station in southeast Raleigh on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Raleigh police say a man died earlier Saturday after four officers shot him on it outside the post. Officers shot him after they saw him throw “several” Molotov cocktails at vehicles in a parking lot near the police station, Chief Estella Patterson said at a press conference on Saturday evening. He then threw the “incendiary weapons” at officers, and one approached an officer, Patterson said. Ethan Hyman [email protected]

Police will request release of body camera footage

All four officers who responded to the scene were wearing body cameras, which were active, Patterson said. Security cameras installed by the police station also filmed the shooting, Patterson said.

Patterson said she did not know how many times the man had been punched and said she believed all four officers fired their guns. She said those details would be revealed in body camera footage, which she said she would ask a judge to release, as required by state law.

The police chief also said she would submit a 5-day report to the city manager with the department’s findings on what happened during the shooting. This report will be made public.

Patterson said the State Bureau of Investigation was notified and opened a criminal investigation into the shooting, which is standard procedure whenever a law enforcement officer shoots someone. The SBI will report its findings to the Wake County prosecutor when its investigation is complete.

The Raleigh Police Department has launched its own internal investigation into the shooting, Patterson said, which is also standard procedure.

When asked if officers made an effort to defuse the situation before shooting the man, Patterson said that would be answered in the department’s 5-day report.

Sixth Triangle law enforcement shooting this year

Saturday’s shooting is the sixth law enforcement shooting in the Triangle this year.

In January, Raleigh police responded to a crash on Interstate 440, where they found 43-year-old Daniel Turcios and his family involved in an accident with at least one other vehicle.

Officers investigated the crash and noticed Turcios was holding a knife. Officers repeatedly ordered Turcios to drop the knife, and as he walked away from them an officer tasered him in the back.

Body camera footage later released by the City of Raleigh showed that when Turcios lunged at an officer with the knife, a second officer shot him multiple times.

The shooting prompted Turcios’ family to demand that the two RPD officers be prosecuted for their role in the incident.

Four other law enforcement shootings have taken place in Durham in 2022, including two involving Durham police officers, one involving a Durham Sheriff’s Deputy and one involving a Duke University police officer.

The SBI has launched investigations into each of the shootings.

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A burnt out police vehicle stands ready to be towed past the police station in southeast Raleigh on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Raleigh police say a man died earlier Saturday after four officers shot him on it outside the post. Officers shot him after they saw him throw “several” Molotov cocktails at vehicles in a parking lot near the police station, Chief Estella Patterson said at a press conference on Saturday evening. He then threw the “incendiary weapons” at officers, and one approached an officer, Patterson said. Ethan Hyman [email protected]

BEHIND OUR REPORTS

On the phrase “shooting involving an officer”

Law enforcement agencies often use the term “officer-involved shooting” in situations where an officer fires his weapon. But initial police reports are often unclear as to who shot whom. Our reporters are working to get the facts of the situation as quickly and accurately as possible, and will update this story as soon as we confirm the details of the shooting.

This story was originally published May 7, 2022 2:56 p.m.

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Avi Bajpai is a state political reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He previously covered breaking news and public safety. Contact him at [email protected] or (919) 346-4817.

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Mary Helen Moore covers real estate and business for The News & Observer. She grew up in eastern North Carolina and attended UNC-Chapel Hill before spending several years working at newspapers in Florida. Outside of work, you might find her riding her bike, reading, or tending to plants.

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