Local News

Dunn Police Shoot, Kill Suspect During Arrest Attempt

Posted August 18, 2006

— A Dunn police officer on Thursday shot and killed a suspect wanted in connection with a shooting that happened earlier this week in Harnett County, authorities said.

A detective and two officers went to a house in the 600-block of North Magnolia Street Thursday afternoon to serve an arrest warrant on Matthew Burris, 19, in the shooting of a 17-year-old boy on Tuesday, said authorities. Officers said when Burris came to the door, he was carrying a weapon.

"He came at them with a pistol, and he grabbed one of the female detectives. They were tussling and he was trying to shoot her, and the other two officers behind him opened fire on him," said Police Chief B.P. Jones.

But a woman who lives in the house where the shooting happened, Ruth Watson, insisted Burris didn't have a gun when officers came to the door.

"I know he did not show a gun once while they was here. He did not pull no gun on nobody. He have not shot at nobody," said Watson.

The shooting caused grief and anger in the neighborhood. The unrest prompted area police to make a strong show of force because of past gang-related violence.

"I knew the boy for a long time, and it was really sad that he got shot," said friend Quadrries Washington. "We do have gang problems in North Carolina."

"He was a bad cop to have to go in there and shoot a kid," said neighbor Priscilla Randolph.

"There's never going to be any healing without God involved, it's just not going to happen," said Pastor Rick Kelly of Christ's Way Church of Dunn.

The church has only been in the neighborhood for about five weeks. It's across the street from where the shooting occurred. Kelly said its time for the community to reach out to young people and help stop the violence.

"It's here. You know they can stick their head in the sand and say, 'This is North Carolina and we don't have gang problems in Dunn,' but there are problems," said Kelly.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol and Harnett County Sheriff's Office are assisting the Dunn Police Department with the investigation, and the State Bureau of Investigation has been called in, which is a standard procedure in officer-involved shootings.


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