Working overnight, officials from the Greensboro Police Department and State Bureau of Investigation gathered evidence, obtained witness accounts, and viewed videos from body worn cameras to learn more about what transpired after a vehicle stop yesterday afternoon left one person dead and one officer wounded.
The encounter between two GPD officers assigned to the Police Neighborhood Resource Center and the two occupants of a red sedan began around 4 pm as the partners were patrolling the area in response to a Crime Stoppers tip of drug activity in the area.
Both officers, whose names will be released later today, first saw the vehicle at convenience store at the outskirts of the Hickory Trails neighborhood. When they attempted to stop the red Chevy Impala, the driver initially refused to stop.
The PNRC officers followed, with the female officer driving and the male officer in the passenger seat. Several blocks away, the officers called for backup, and the driver pulled over on the 4200 block of Romaine St. at approximately 4:30 pm. Both the passenger in the Impala and the male officer exited their vehicles before they came to a full stop, and a short foot pursuit ensued.
The male officer caught the fleeing suspect, later identified as Carlos Keith Blackman, and a brief, yet violent struggle ensued. Audio and partial video from the officer’s body worn camera, which was dislodged during the struggle, suggests that the officer had Blackman on the ground and was attempting to handcuff him when Blackman assaulted the officer and escaped from his grasp.
At the same time, the female officer had placed the driver of the Impala in handcuffs and began to question him. When she saw Blackman flee from her partner, she placed her suspect in the patrol car of an arriving officer, and ran to help her fellow officer.
Audio from the male’s officer’s body worn camera captured the sound of several gunshots fired in rapid succession. Seconds afterwards, the female officer found her partner in an overgrown thicket, with a single gunshot wound to his upper torso.
Blackman once again fled; this time in the direction of a family member’s house on Alma St. where police found him suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was transported by EMS to Moses Cone Hospital where he later succumbed to his wounds.
As is standard procedure for a fatal officer-involved shooting, GPD has requested the SBI conduct the follow up investigation into all aspects of the incident to establish whether or not the officer’s actions were justifiable under state law. This is a thorough and lengthy investigation.
Although the sequence and number of shots fired has not yet been determined by the SBI, evidence collected at the crime scene indicates that at least one weapon, in addition to the officer’s weapon, was involved in the incident.
The department’s Professional Standards Division performs a second investigation. This is an administrative investigation to determine whether or not the officers complied with all policies and training standards. The results of the administrative investigation are reviewed by the officers’ chain of command and the chief of police to identify any potential procedural violations and/or training shortfalls.
The findings of the SBI’s criminal investigation are presented to the District Attorney who reviews the entire case and determines if the officer’s actions were justifiable under law or should result in criminal prosecution.
The injured officer was treated at Moses Cone Hospital and released early this morning. He is scheduled to receive additional medical care in the near future. The officer expresses his gratitude for all of the prayers and warm wishes he received from members of the public.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan joins those who are concerned about the many people affected by this incident. “On behalf of the city of Greensboro, our prayers and well wishes go out to the officers and their families for a full and speedy recovery. In addition, we would also like to recognize that another family is grieving, and we send out our prayers and support to them as well.”
Both officers will be placed on administrative duties as the investigations continue. They are being offered assistance from the department’s Peer Support Team and chaplains.
Members of the faith community plan to reach out to the family of the deceased.
The last shooting of a GPD officer occurred in 2009.
– Source: GPD