Fayetteville, N.C. — Police responding to a homicide at a home in Fayetteville Wednesday morning said the investigation turned violent when a man approached and opened fire on officers, prompting one of them to shoot back.
"It was a barrage – multiple gunshots from the shooter and several from the officer," police Chief Harold Medlock said. "The actions of this officer kept a lot of neighborhood residents and police alive this morning."
Medlock said police were interviewing someone at a house at 4522 Ruby Road around 9 a.m. when Solomon Butler, 24, approached the crime scene, pulled out a handgun and started shooting no more than 8 feet from police.
William Clements III, a Fayetteville police officer for nearly 10 years, returned fire, striking and disarming Butler. Butler was listed in critical condition at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Wednesday afternoon.
Medlock did not say what might have prompted the shooting, but said that Butler's last known address was at the home.
It's unclear if Butler still lives there or how he might have known the murder victim. Police have not named him as a suspect in the crime but said he is considered to be a person of interest.
Police have not said what charges Butler might face in the shooting.
Investigators also aren't releasing many details about the homicide, including the victim's name, but said the man's sister called 911 around 8 a.m. after she found him dead and the house in "great disarray."
"It was a pretty horrible situation inside that house," Medlock said, adding that a "violent, violent struggle" occurred.
According to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, Butler is a member of a local street gang and, at some point, attended Fayetteville Technical Community College.
He has been arrested seven times on several charges, including assault on a female, assault on a child under the age of 12, robbery, trespassing and taking a weapon on school grounds.
It's unclear if he was ever convicted of any of the charges.
Clements, 49, has been placed on administrative duty, standard protocol for an officer-involved shooting, and the State Bureau of Investigation is investigating.
The Fayetteville Police Department will also conduct an internal investigation to see if all procedures and policies were followed during the shooting.