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Family questions why Wake deputy killed suicidal man

Posted February 14, 2012

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— The family of a man killed Saturday by a Wake County deputy says the man didn't pose a threat and was only seeking help when he was gunned down.

First Class Deputy Tavares Thompson shot Adam Wade Carter, 25, twice in the chest shortly after responding to a 911 call from Carter's home off Leesville Road stating that he was trying to kill himself, according to authorities and Carter's family.

"Twice in the chest is not how you handle a situation with someone who's looking for help," Thomas Boykin, a friend of Carter's said Tuesday.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said after the shooting that Carter confronted Thompson with a knife, so the deputy had to use deadly force.

Boykin, who called 911 along with Carter's aunt, said Carter was drunk and stumbled toward the deputy but never raised the knife. He said his friend was so disturbed that he even told the deputy to shoot him.

"He didn't have any threatening mannerisms. He had (the knife) down by his waist. He was drunk," Boykin said. "There were no negotiations. (The deputy) told him to drop it, and that's all he said. He said, 'Drop it or I'll shoot,' and within two minutes of him walking through the door, it was all over with."

Carla Murdock said her nephew had a paring knife and wasn't threatening anyone but himself.

"He was just crying out for help," Murdock said.

Adam Carter, killed by Wake deputy Slain man wasn't threat to deputy, family says

The Wake County Sheriff's Office has no policy for dealing with drunk or suicidal suspects. It states that "force should be used only when all other means of resolving a situation have been exhausted or are clearly inapplicable."

Thompson has been placed on administrative duty, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings, pending the results of a State Bureau of Investigation review of the incident.

Carter's family said they hope the investigation causes the sheriff's office to change its policies.

"If something good doesn't come out of this for Adam, I don't think I'll be able to trust the police anymore," said Carter's sister, Martina Archer. "If you can't call 911 and actually feel safe, then there's no point in even dialing the number."

350 Comments

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  • Lightfoot3 Feb 21, 2012

    Just saw a video on CNN of a cop's encounter with a suicidal knife wielding person. First of all, cop was wearing a camera which I totally support for all cop/public encounters. Secondly, cop pulls gun, and ordered dude to drop the knife and BACKED away when the dude advanced slightly. By moving, cop maintained a tactical advantage and did NOT have to shoot the guy, though he was prepared to do so if needed. Finally, other cops arrived and tasered the guy. Wake County cops could learn something by studying such videos and enacting their own policies and procedures. But if they never admit their mistakes, they'll never learn, and will continue to repeat those mistakes.

  • cutl00senc Feb 17, 2012

    Mkarcher911....I am deeply sorry for your loss. And I can understand your anger and pain. I can only offer you the promise that I, as a taxpayer and citizen, will defend the rights of your brother and will speak out against the unexcusable actions of this officer, and more importantly, the overall attitude of LEO's in general. Something has to change, because this kinda thing cannot, and must not, continue...we are headed down a path to civil unrest, war in the streets, and lots of needless bloodshed if we cannot uncover the underlying problems between the people sworn to uphold the laws and the citizens who are at their mercy.

  • cutl00senc Feb 17, 2012

    Nanny...police officers are not the only ones who have hard or dangerous jobs...they are, however, the only ones allowed to kill while on the clock. sure..id love to ride along with an LEO..and he can ride along with me too...and I could show him just how "undangerous" the world really is when you dont have a gun strapped to your hip and a bullet proof vest on.

  • mkarcher911 Feb 17, 2012

    To everyone talking junk about the situation you don't know anything and you never knew Adam. He was my older brother and we were two years apart. The evidence does not support the cops actions but the truth will come out soon. My brother was loved by everyone he knew and we are not doing okay so please keep your bad comments about Adam to yourself. If he was your brother, son, uncle, nephew or cousin then you would feel the same. My mother and father have lost their first child and their only son. Please show some respect.

  • nanny Feb 17, 2012

    cut100senc, you seem to think you can speak for them-go figure. Like I said, good luck with that brain protection. You never mentioned when you wanted to do the ride-a-long. Didn't think you would-surprise, surprise. All talk and hot air.

  • fayncmike Feb 17, 2012

    "Hans, you have serious comprehension issues. We do protect the public even though by the supreme court we are not required to. we protect ourselves first, then the public. Don't like it? Bummer, but it's readily apparent that you haven't read or refuse to comprehend what I'm saying. It's like talking to a brick wall.
    leo-nc"

    Serve and protect needs to be changed to Terrorize and be protected from.

  • Hans Feb 16, 2012

    "Really gunny? I also served my country in the Marine Corps & I swore an oath to defend the Constitution of this great land. I don't believe that oath ends when leaving the service by the way. You seem to have forgotten that we have those God given rights when you advocate the violation of my constitutional rights. Worst part is you based your judgement from one of my comments. Great job and Semper Fi Gunny! Sheez..." - fl2nc2ca2md2nc

    Thank you for taking your oath seriously.

  • cutl00senc Feb 16, 2012

    Nanny...giving birth to a LEO doesnt qualify you to speak for them, nor does being a freind of them. I can speak for a citizen because I am one. You cannot speak for an LEO..unless you are one. Get in the game? Which game? The killing game? or the "we are a democracy, based on freedom of life, liberty, and the pursuit of the suspect, GAME?"

  • cutl00senc Feb 16, 2012

    The Wake County Sheriff's Office has no policy for dealing with drunk or suicidal suspects. It states that "force should be used only when all other means of resolving a situation have been exhausted or are clearly inapplicable." ... wral

    Obviously...this was not the policy of this officer during the time of this altercation.

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Feb 16, 2012

    "Cops have to learn to trust the public..because the public wants to trust them..but its hard with a gun in your face, or a flashlight in your eyes..." cutl00se

    "...I do believe that many in leo(s) don't believe or understand this simple fact. fl2nc2ca2md2nc"

    LOL 2 fine upstanding 'citizens' who seem to be in the 'flashlights' of LEOs on a weekly occurance gunny462

    Really gunny? I also served my country in the Marine Corps & I swore an oath to defend the Constitution of this great land. I don't believe that oath ends when leaving the service by the way. You seem to have forgotten that we have those God given rights when you advocate the violation of my constitutional rights. Worst part is you based your judgement from one of my comments. Great job and Semper Fi Gunny! Sheez...

    Just to be clear, I don't advocate everything that cutl00se and Hans say, not even close, but he did make a good point there which I did agree with.

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