Local News

Robeson County Police Chief Says Shooting Of Robbery Suspect Justified

Posted December 17, 2002

— St. Pauls police chief Tommy Hagens said that Daniel Michael Wilkerson was shot to death Friday because he refused to surrender to officers.

"This is the last thing we wanted," Kagen said, discussing the death of Wilkerson, a suspect in a bank robbery Friday.

According to the police report, Wilkerson pointed a gun at an officer and refused to surrender after being told several times to put down his weapon. The 40-year-old Robeson County man was then shot in the chest and head and died at the scene.

Wilkerson was released from prison June 28, 2001, after serving a four-year sentence for conspiracy and solicitation to commit murder.

Hagens said Wilkerson walked toward Patrolman Gene Lambert in an alley behind a store after the robbery and pointed a semi-automatic handgun at the officer.

Lambert, who has worked for the police department since 1998, has been placed on paid administrative leave. The State Bureau of Investigation has assigned about six agents to investigate the shooting and bank robbery.

Robeson County District Attorney Johnston Britt said state law allows police officers to use deadly force to protect themselves and others from death or bodily harm.

Hagens said the Lumbee Guaranty Bank was robbed about 6 p.m. Friday. One of the four tellers inside activated a silent alarm when the masked robber left.

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