Local News

Suspect Shot During Fayetteville Undercover Drug Operation

Posted October 30, 2003

— For the second time in five weeks, a Fayetteville undercover drug operation ended with the shooting of a suspect.

Renauld Sylvester Curtis, 23, is in serious condition at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center after being shot by Fayetteville narcotics officers Wednesday night.

Police said the situation started when Fayetteville detectives arranged an appointment with Curtis, a suspected drug dealer, at the Mt. Sinai Apartments off of Blue Street at 10:48 p.m.

According to police, Curtis was in his vehicle and undercover officers were parked behind him in a van. Police said when Curtis realized what was happening, instead of turning himself in, he backed into the van multiple times.

He then drove toward officers standing by on the scene and the officers began to shoot at Curtis. The officers were not injured, but an undercover vehicle was hit.

Police said Curtis then lost control of his vehicle and ran into a nearby creek. Officers pulled Curtis from the creek, where he was found to have 2 to 3 gunshot wounds.

Detectives found money and crack cocaine on the suspect. Officials said warrants on Curtis will be obtained for various narcotic, assault, and motor vehicle law violations.

The undercover operation took at a public housing complex.

"I just told my kids to get down because the gunshots were just that close to my house," said a resident who witnessed the shooting.

On Sept. 24, a suspect was shot during an undercover operation at a Fayetteville store parking lot.

Sgt. Alex Thompson, of the Fayetteville Police Department said police avoid busts in public places when they can, but said it is often a no-win situation.

"The only problem with some of that sometimes is we end up where drug dealers do their deals, that's where they feel the safest," he said.

The state Bureau of Investigation will be conducting an investigation into the shooting. The Office of Professional Standards and Inspections will conduct an administrative investigation. As a matter of policy, following an officer involved shooting, the involved officers will be placed on administrative leave with pay.

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Jason Stoogenke

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