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Wake deputy who shot suicidal man back on active duty

Posted April 19, 2012

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— A Wake County deputy who shot and killed a 25-year-old man on Feb. 11 was back on active duty weeks after the shooting, despite an ongoing review by the State Bureau of Investigation, the sheriff's office confirmed Thursday. 

First Class Deputy Tavares Thompson shot Adam Wade Carter 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. 

Tavares, who was on administrative duty for a little more than two weeks, returned to active duty Feb. 27. 

Carter's family said in February that deadly force was not needed when Thompson responded to Carter's home. 

"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.

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 2 minutes of him walking through the door, it was all over with."

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  • thepeopleschamp Apr 20, 2012

    "Witness the Columbine cops that let people bleed out because they were too afraid to enter the building." Lightfoot3

    Your facts are correct but the reason couldn't be more wrong. Having actually listened to a seminar by the columbine principal and a student, it was the policy of the time that prevented the officers from entering Columbine. After the lessons of columbine were learned nearly every agency changed their policy that said "wait for SWAT" during a mass shooting. NC BLET even has a section now on 1st responders to mass shootings. So no, it was NOt fear, and the law enforcement community changed with the times and updated for the better.

  • Lightfoot3 Apr 20, 2012

    “He is from Nepal and knows 1001 ways to kill you with a knife.” – warbirdlover


    But can he kill with a swizzle stick?


    “A well trained officer NEVER backs up from a threat.” – backwards


    That’s an oxymoron. Sometimes it’s better to back away. It depends on the situation. And plenty of well trained cops do it.


    “Stop hating on the people in uniform that would selflessly take a bullet to protect your ungrateful behinds” – backwards


    While I don’t hate, you’ve got this backwards. When this story first broke, a few of the LEO on here commented that their number one priority is their OWN safety. Witness the Columbine cops that let people bleed out because they were too afraid to enter the building.

  • LawHelps Apr 20, 2012

    This officer did the right thing. It is a sad thing someone had to lose their life. To me it seems like suicide by cop and being drunk isn't an excuse. The subject was armed with a knife and was given commands but the subject DID NOT follow. An officer shoots to eliminate the threat, not shoot the knife out of someone's hand. Also piene2, being EMT is not like being an officer. You are called after the threat is stopped and are usually staged way up the road until officers call for you. So there is no comparison there. Stick to EMT training since you know nothing of law enforcement training. Again it's always sad when there has to be a life taken but glad the officer went home safe.

  • Classified Apr 20, 2012

    Eviltwinbob

    Although we all pay taxes, your taxes do not pay me while mine pay yours. The person who pays me can and will voice his concerns if he is dissatisfied with my performance although he might or might not grasp what my job entails. You should expect the same if your supervisor was to have enough of the public voice their concerns with the actions of law enforcement.
    From the way you speak I would deduce that you feel your performance is none of the publics concern and that you feel in your position you can command peoples silence regardless of free speech. This is where you are wrong and also fail project a positive image with the public. The problem with a lot of law enforcement is that they don’t feel they’re part of the public but rather above the public. So in response for me to keep my opinions to myself I say if you can’t handle what people post try a new pastime instead of golo. And more to the point, if you want respect try earning it.

  • eviltwinbob Apr 19, 2012

    Classified

    We all pay taxes so you are no more a contributing source than I am. I do project a positive image, it just chaps my behind when you think you know how things are to go just because you pay your taxes. Good for you, but you have no clue as to what a person goes through when they make a decision that others cannot make. Plus they do not have the training to even understand why the officer made the decision. again if you have not been there...pay your taxes and keep you opinions to yourself.

  • working for deadbeats Apr 19, 2012

    I'm starting to think this is really just a racial issue with some of you.

  • warbirdlover Apr 19, 2012

    I know a fellow whom was a Gurkha soldier during the Vietnam Nam war. He is from Nepal and knows 1001 ways to kill you with a knife. Those whom don't think knifes are lethal are very uninformed. You are more likely to die from a knife wound than a gunshot wound.

  • piene2 Apr 19, 2012

    "But this officer did what he felt he had to do. He was investigated.. which is not a picnic. And he was placed back on duty If you disagree, then put yourself through BLET, get on with a department then get involved in a deadly force incident then you will have earned the right to open your mouth on this subject. If not, keep your opinion to yourself for you speak from your behind.
    eviltwinbob"

    He did what he felt he had to do? He HAD to do? No, he did what he wanted to do. He took the easy way out, the way out of a coward. You talk about cops putting their lives on the line. that is a joke unto its self. Is this putting his life on the line? I know from personal experience being a former EMT who has been in that situation many times that the man did not need to be murdered. As far as an investigation goes, we all know the impartiality of the investigators, investigating their own. What is desperately needed are civilian review boards to protect the population from the cops.

  • Red Green Apr 19, 2012

    "If you disagree, then put yourself through BLET, get on with a department then get involved in a deadly force incident then you will have earned the right to open your mouth on this subject. If not, keep your opinion to yourself for you speak from your behind." eviltwinbob

    Since it is our tax dollars that pay your wages we already have the right to open our mouths. What you do is what we pay you to do and if we disagree it is your job to listen. Maybe you and your police brethren should try harder to project a positive image to the public. BTW your not impressive with your cute little acronyms.

  • thepeopleschamp Apr 19, 2012

    To those thinking a gun is an over-reaction to a knife; please research the case several years ago of the Tampa police officer who drew down on, but did not shoot, a female shoplifter with a 2" pocket knife. The female lunged towards the officer and cut an artery and he quickly died. Possibly some here would have been happier with that outcome.

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