Local News

Durham police fatally shoot man trying to evade arrest

Posted February 15
Updated February 18

— A man wanted on several outstanding warrants was killed Wednesday afternoon in a shooting involving three Durham police officers, authorities said.

The shooting occurred in the 2500 block of Glenbrook Drive at about 2:20 p.m. as the members of the Selective Enforcement Team were trying to serve an order for arrest, Police Chief C.J. Davis said.

Police haven't released the man's name, but a relative at the scene of the shooting identified him as 24-year-old Kenneth Lee Bailey Jr.

Bailey was charged last summer with robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony conspiracy and possession of a firearm by a felon, and court records show an order for his arrest on the first two charges was issued Wednesday. Davis said the man had violated his pre-trial release conditions.

The man ran from police, and during a foot chase, he pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it at the officers, who then fired at him, Davis said.

Witnesses said they heard several shots fired and said a school bus was pulling into the neighborhood off East Club Boulevard at the time of the shooting.

Davis said a gun, which had been reported stolen in December, was found next to the man's body.

The Durham Police Department began rolling out body cameras for officers in December, but none of the three officers involved in Wednesday's shooting had a body camera.

A tense situation developed after the shooting, as dozens of police officers flooded into the neighborhood – home to the Club Boulevard or "Bluefield" public housing complex – where angry residents gathered and starting shouting at police. Others were hugging and crying and asking for answers.

"The police need to stop killing our young, black men and anybody else," one man said.

Davis went door to door in the neighborhood after the shooting to talk with residents.

"Any loss of life is a tragic event," she said at a Wednesday evening news conference. "The Durham Police Department continues to be concerned about how incidents like this impact families, our community and our department."

The State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to review the shooting, and all three officers, whose names haven't been released, have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is standard protocol for officer-involved shootings. A five-day report for Wednesday's shooting should be released Wednesday Feb. 22. with more details on the incident.

Bailey's criminal record dates to 2009 and includes convictions on drug charges, possession of stolen goods, carrying a concealed weapon and speeding to elude arrest. He was last in prison more than two years ago, according to state Department of Public Safety records.

On Saturday, Bailey's mother, Louise Pratt, said that her son has made made out to "look like a violent gangster."

"Kenny was a young man who loved his momma. He loved his aunts and uncles and cousins and friends. He loved his two babies, who lost their father on Wednesday," she said in a statement.

The death marks the second fatal shooting involving Durham police in less than three months. Frank Nathaniel Clark, 34, was killed on Nov. 22 in a struggle with officers at the McDougald Terrace public housing complex.

A third fatal shooting occurred last weekend in Durham involving a State Highway Patrol trooper. The trooper shot Willard Eugene Scott Jr., 31, during a brief foot chase after Scott refused to comply with a traffic stop, authorities said.

Durham police also were involved in five other shootings between July 2013 and September 2015. Three men were killed in those incidents:

July 27, 2013: Police investigating a stabbing found Jose Ocampo holding a knife and shot him four times.

Sept. 18, 2013: Derek Walker brandished a gun in downtown Durham, and a police standoff and negotiations ended with police shooting and killing him.

Sept. 5, 2015: Lavonte Biggs was fatally shot in a police standoff in which he was later found to have been carrying a pellet gun.

Police wounded suspects in a McDonald's break-in in June 2015 and a convenience store robbery in July 2015.

21 Comments

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  • Woodrow Yonts Feb 19, 2017
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    Bailey's criminal record dates to 2009 and includes convictions on drug charges, possession of stolen goods, carrying a concealed weapon and speeding to elude arrest. He was last in prison more than two years ago,

    On Saturday, Bailey's mother, Louise Pratt, said that her son has made made out to "look like a violent gangster."
    "Kenny was a young man who loved his momma. He loved his aunts and uncles and cousins and friends. He loved his two babies, who lost their father on Wednesday," she said in a statement.

    I don't understand the mother's mentality at all, how could a mother be so blind....does she think this is normal .....i'd like to know her definition of a "violent gangster"

  • Jeffrey Derry Feb 16, 2017
    user avatar

    dont run from the police when they call your name put your hands up in the air......simple

  • Norman Lewis Feb 16, 2017
    user avatar

    Innocent people do not run from the Police. Intelligent people do not point guns at the Police. Intelligent people also do not accumulate felony charges like parking tickets.

  • Norman Lewis Feb 16, 2017
    user avatar

    I understand after the shooting, there were crowds of people crying and protesting the death of the young black man. BUT, where are the crowds and protests when the young black men being killed are running the streets engaging in gang criminal activity? We have catered to the "self esteem" issues for long enough, we have catered to the "poverty and bad childhood" excuses for long enough. There is no excuse for criminal activity but bad choices.

  • Kevin Lawrence Feb 16, 2017
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    William James, from what you write are you by chance part of the media you write about? Are you possibly a news reporter posting in disguise here?

  • William James Feb 16, 2017
    user avatar

    The best way for the Police to guarantee distrust in the community and escalated negative responses from the public is to continually be in the news for shooting young black youth, while not wearing the department issued body cams, cutting them off or obstructing the view, and/or refusing to release the unedited version to the press! Also, by NC passing a law forbidding access to cam footage by the media/public this is a clearly deliberate strategy to control the medias coverage and public's response to possible questionable shootings and/or unprofessional behavior of officers in the field. Example, despite this recent law they showed the justified shooting a while back where the guys gun was visable, but would they do the same for unjustified shooting or other evidence of officer misconduct?

  • Jeremy Fryett Feb 16, 2017
    user avatar

    Another tragedy for the family and law enforcement. Breakdown of the family across the board is causing greater issues in society. I say the one infrastructure that needs to be built until this junk is under control is community centers and boys and girls clubs. Give folks a place to go to stay out of trouble. Then just as harsh of penalties as what the law can levy. Give the opportunity to those who want it. To the others well I hope you learn even if it has to be the hard way.

  • Marvin Sanderford Feb 16, 2017
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Is this the same "Media" who convicted the Duke Lacrosse team before all of the evidence came to light? Is this the same media you refer to as held Crystal Mangum in such high regard even after she killed her husband/boyfriend/whatever?
    Is this the same media that beats the drums of chaos and imminent rueage when even a hint of snow or ice is forecast? No sir, I say this "media" has been slack on their jobs for a very long time. If the main media were an employee, they'd have been fired a loonnnggg time ago! lol

  • Marvin Sanderford Feb 16, 2017
    user avatar

    Yet another person who thinks he can beat the law is proven wrong... DEAD wrong. I hate that this person had bad motives, had a bad history and his life ended too short. I hate it that the officer who killed him will have to live with that for the rest of his life. And I hate it that this will continue... people will not learn from this or past incidence and the damage to human life and psyche's will continue.

  • Jason Merrill Feb 16, 2017
    user avatar

    I hate the young man lost his life, but when you play stupid games you win stupid prizes. There is no stupider game to be played than to point a gun at the police.

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