Home News Man throws Molotov cocktails at North Carolina police station, officers return fire

Man throws Molotov cocktails at North Carolina police station, officers return fire

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Avi Bajpai, Mary Helen Moore

The News & Observer (Raleigh)

Raleigh police said a man died Saturday after four police officers shot him outside of a police station in Southeast Raleigh.

Police officers shot him after they saw him throwing “multiple” Molotov cocktails at vehicles in a parking lot near the police station, Chief Estella Patterson said at a news conference Saturday night. He then threw the “incendiary weapons” toward officers, and one came within close proximity of an officer, Patterson said.

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

The situation started around 1:20 p.m. when an officer at the department’s Southeast District station in the 2800 block of Rock Quarry Road, near New Birch Drive, observed the man trying to set multiple vehicles on fire. The officer requested assistance from other officers, Patterson said.

At least three other officers responded, and commanded the man to stop. The man continued to throw Molotov cocktails at vehicles; they’re typically glass bottles with a fuse that contain flammable liquid. After one came near an officer, the four officers fired their guns at the man, who was struck “multiple times,” according to Patterson.

Officers then moved the man away from a burning vehicle and tried to perform CPR, Patterson said. The man was transported to the hospital, where he died.

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

Earlier Saturday, Lt. Chaz Moore with 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 caught on fire. Asked if it was an RPD vehicle that had caught on fire, Moore referred the N&O to Raleigh police.

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

Police will petition for release of bodycam 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 captured the shooting, Patterson said.

Patterson said she did not know how many times the man was struck, and said she believed all four officers fired their weapons. She said those details would be revealed in the body camera footage, which she said she would petition a judge to publicly release, as is 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 of what happened during the shooting. That report will be released to the public.

Patterson said the State Bureau of Investigation had been notified and had launched 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 District Attorney 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.

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.

©2022 Raleigh News & Observer. Visit newsobserver.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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