Local News

Soldier Helps Catch Suspect in Police Shooting

Posted March 26, 2007

— A Fayetteville police officer was listed in good condition at a hospital Monday evening after being shot overnight during a foot chase.

Officer Douglas Austin was on patrol at around 3 a.m. Monday near Jack's Ford Road when he noticed a suspicious vehicle in the area, police said. When the vehicle refused to stop, Austin followed the vehicle to Fleishman Street, police said.

According to police, the suspects ran from their vehicle and Austin followed them on foot. He was shot by one of the suspects behind an apartment complex at 4045 Galveston Court, police said.

Austin, the son of Fayetteville City Councilwoman Lois Kirby, was shot once in the chest, but he was wearing a bulletproof vest and is expected to be OK, police said. Austin's father is Tom Austin, baseball coach at Methodist University.

"I heard about seven shots. I don't know if I heard the cops or the suspects. I don't know which one it was, but there were a lot of bullets out here," said resident Temeisha Payne.

Payne said she saw one suspect fall backwards through a fence.

A Fort Bragg soldier, who did not want to be identified, ran outside and tackled the suspected shooter until a second officer arrived at the scene.

"My wife woke up and heard some yelling out in the back yard. So, I started getting dressed, put some boots on, and then I heard a couple of shots while I was getting dressed. That made it a little more urgent," the soldier said.

"The suspect had the officer on the ground, so I went and started kicking him in the head and stomping, trying to get him off," he said. "The officer asked for help: 'Get this guy off me.'"

A second suspect in the case was apprehended Monday afternoon in the area of Dashland Drive, police said.

The names of the suspects haven't yet been released.

Austin, 23, has been with the Fayetteville Police Department since January 2005. He is the son of Fayetteville City Councilwoman Lois Kirby.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Fayetteville police at 910-433-1856.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • kekili8882 Apr 3, 2007

    I happen to live right next door to the unnamed soldier and his wife. All I have to say is that I am fortunate to live next to two great people. They have looked out for me, especially since my husband is currently deployed. I thank you both for doing the right thing. I am lucky enough that I wasn't in town at this time.

  • kota2947 Mar 27, 2007

    rainy39...de da de...If race isnt an issue,why did you make a point to mention (im white)?Or you just talking as your way of helping change things.....lay off the GRITS

  • Greekgirl Mar 27, 2007

    dsal68 ..I said "what I was told"...NOT, How I see things...big difference!

  • Greekgirl Mar 27, 2007

    Courtney,had me flagged..because I said ..lets give her a standing ovation...people are just too sensitive.

  • goheels Mar 27, 2007

    courtney_829..........I give a big thanks to the outstanding job your husband did to save that officers' life. As a retired law enforcement officer, I know what it takes to go out there and have something go terribly wrong and have a brave citizen come to your rescue. It is rare, but I commend him highly, as not everyone would have done the same. I am sure many other people heard the shots and did nothing. I truly believe that officer would have been killed if no one had done anything. I understand his desire to remain unnamed, but I am sure there are many, many people who would like to thank him as well as all the members of the FPD and law enforcement in general.

  • tarheelblue919 Mar 27, 2007

    Soldiers like that make me proud of my country, but its sad that they have to come home from combat and still have to deal with things like this in their own yard....and my prayers go out to the officer.

  • watchdog Mar 26, 2007

    Also, compare the statistics from this site:

    Quoted from the website: "Our crime rates are based on FBI data." The stats were last updated on 01/07.

    Fayetteville consistently scored with higher rates than any of the other cities (Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, and Charlotte). It came the closest to Charlotte, which is not good considering Charlotte has about 4.7 times as many people as Fayetteville.

    Please don't take this as a bash on Fayetteville, I simply don't see how people can be blind to the fact that the crime is worse than other cities (that are ALL larger than Fayetteville).

    My hats off to the members of FPD, they certainly have their hands full and good thing there are some noble citizens to assist them when they need it the most. Stay safe.

  • watchdog Mar 26, 2007

    Not to stir the pot any more, but to say that Fayetteville is "no worse than any other 'big' city" is a gross understatement. Let the facts speak:

    Estimated population in July 2005:
    Fayetteville: 129,928
    Charlotte: 610,949
    Raleigh: 341,530
    Durham: 204,845
    Greensboro: 231,962

    Registered sex offenders as of early 2007 and the ratio of residents to sex offenders:
    Fayetteville: 280 (ratio of 464:1) Charlotte: 535 (1142:1) Raleigh: 1409 (242:1) Durham: 236 (868:1) Greensboro: 314 (739:1)

    Crime index rating as of 2002: Fayetteville: 638.8 (in 2005: 680.3) Charlotte: unavailable Raleigh: 471.8 (in 2005: unavailable) Durham: 608.0 (in 2005: 544.0) Greensboro: 498.0 (in 2005: 558.0)

  • courtney829 Mar 26, 2007

    I just want to thank everyone for the continued support both my husband and I have received. My husband chooses to remain anoymous for various reasons, but the support and the good condition of Officer Austin's health makes all his decisions worth while. Thank you and please remember to also thank the brave men and women of the Fayetteville Police Department.

  • rainy39 Mar 26, 2007

    I'm so sick of peoples racist comments. It doesn't matter whether the shooter was black, white or green..He committed a crime..All you people who want to sit and act as if black people are the only ones commiting crimes need to sit back and really read ALL the news reports..stop acting like white people never do any wrong..Oh and by the way. I'm a white female and really hate when anyone wants to throw race into everything.