Fayetteville police fatally shot man who wanted to 'kill officers'
Posted March 17
Fayetteville, N.C. — Fayetteville police officers dismantled the attic of an apartment and entered through the ceiling in an effort to end a 8-hour standoff with a robbery suspect on Thursday evening.
Authorities were initially called to an apartment in the 100 block of Sycamore Court at about 10 a.m. Thursday, after Patrick Earl Gatson, 32, barricaded himself inside an apartment and refused to come out. Authorities said Gatson had active warrants for common law robbery and felony possession of stolen goods. He told police that he did not want to return to jail.
Fayetteville Police Chief Anthony Kelly said that officers dismantled the attic and searched for Gatson, who was eventually located in a closet with a rifle, magazine and scope in hand.
Kelly said Gatson pointed the rifle at an officer, who ran. A second officer who was still in the attic alerted the SWAT team that Gatson had a weapon. Kelly said officers told Gatson several times to drop his weapon and used non-lethal force, including rubber bullets before eventually firing shots at about 6:15 p.m.
"He acknowledged that he was there, that he had a weapon, and that he would kill officers," Kelly said.
Gatson was pronounced dead Thursday night.
The officers involved were identified as Joseph Delpizzo and Shawn Collins, both 19-year veterans of the Fayetteville Police Department, and Aaron Hunt, a 7-year member of department.
Kelly said there were 60 officers on the scene who were wearing body cameras, but so far none of the reviewed footage captured the shooting.
According to police, Gatson was wanted for a March 14 robbery in the 700 block of Ramsey Street.
The SBI is investigating the shooting, standard procedure whenever an officer fires a weapon. The officers who fired the shot have been placed on administrative leave.
Anyone with information concerning Gaston is asked to call the Fayetteville Police Department at 910-433-1885 or Crime Stoppers at 910-438-8477.