Local News

Raleigh Man Killed by Greensboro Officer

Posted January 25, 2008

— A Raleigh man was shot and killed by an off-duty Greensboro police officer during a scuffle, police said Friday.

Emile Baptist Williams, 39, of 1211 Trillium Circle, was killed late Wednesday during an altercation with Officer W.M. Symmes, police said.

Symmes, who was working off-duty, responded to a reported theft from Helzberg Diamonds at the Four Seasons Mall and tried to stop the suspected thief, who was fleeing the scene in a Honda Accord, authorities said.

The chase on Interstate 40/85 reached speeds up to 100 mph, and the police cruiser and the Accord collided on the highway near Creekridge Road, police said.

After the wreck, Symmes got into an altercation with Williams, who was driving the car, authorities said. Williams jumped into the cruiser and tried to drive off, dragging Symmes a short distance as the officer tried to stop the vehicle, authorities said.

Fearing Williams would drive off, Symmes drew his weapon and shot Williams once in the neck, killing him, authorities said.

Police believe Williams stole two diamonds, valued at a combined $36,000, from the store, according to a search warrant. The Accord was reported stolen in Raleigh last February, the warrant said.

The State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to review the case.


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  • pwalker2f2f Jan 25, 2008

    Headly Lamar...Just because they are state troopers does not mean they have never served warrants. We serve warrants every day. Most of us are former police officers and have served arrest warrants and search warrants.

    My money is that they have served more warrants than the average citizen.

  • tryton77 Jan 25, 2008

    A CHASE? A perfect Example of LEO pulling his weapon in self defense and the defense of fellow officers. but unwilling to us his vehicle as a weapon too defend the hundreds of innocent drivers that this POS could have crashed into and killed. The Laws should be changed so that LEO can stop a chase by using any means they feel is needed.

  • trilbygibbons Jan 25, 2008

    I hope that Helzberg got their two diamonds back.

  • leo149 Jan 25, 2008

    Well, the link thing didn't work...just google the Greensboro News and Record, it is their top story.

  • Tater Salad Jan 25, 2008

    it's funny, there are 2 state troopers telling people in this thread about warrants (announced or no-knock, either one) and yet they patrol the North Carolina HIGHWAYS

    My money is on niether one has served any more warrants than a regular citizen in this thread

  • Tater Salad Jan 25, 2008

    You may very well be legal but I can guarantee you, you don't know the law or you wouldn't be making such remarks. Let me clue you in. - leo-nc

    I know the law (without a state issued computer to look it up on in my patrol car)

    also, I know I'm 100% legal. Therefore, any warrant issued on my property will most likely be false. I'm not paying for police protection so they can think I'm a criminal. I know I'm legal, if they don't and think I'm a crook, I'll gladly leave this world but I'm getting off as many shots as possible before I die defending my rights and my property against police whom I know won't be doing their job correctly (seeing as how I'm legal and I know it)

  • leo149 Jan 25, 2008

    The person shot by the police officer was a piece of dirt...here is a link to the Greensboro News and Record, which has graciously provided a copy of the search warrant...by the way, the vehicle being operated by this person was reported stolen to the Raleigh PD in February 2007...


  • floriduhschoolboy Jan 25, 2008

    ncst8man1999, Why do you consider that Chest-thumping, he-man, yadda yadda yadda, etc.? I promise you, it is as much as the truth as I can tell it. I sit in my living room, in leather computer chair with one of my many Glocks right beside the mouse pad. It doesn't get any more simple than that. If you come into my house, unwelcomed, you get to see the business end of said Glock. And I know nothing about Col Grossman or his writings. You took my comment of defending my home to be stupid. That makes you a sheep, as in short for Sheeple, as in Lemming, as in a person who meanders through life without a clue in the world. It was a reasonable statement, if you don't think so, well then, you know what I think of you. :) If you think I am a crazy gun-nut, then so be it. I am willing to bet that I am NEVER a victim of a violent crime.

  • ncst8man1999 Jan 25, 2008

    Floriduh -- this is what I thought was stupid-- " If you come to my house and you have a warrant, by all means, do your thing. If you come into my house, be it a crook, cop (without a warrant), or Jesus Christ himself, they have had a VERY bad day. "---

    That is nothing but chest thumping, he-man, hear-me-roar. Don't assume that because I thought it was stupid, means I am a sheep. I am the farthest from it. To follow the analogy in Col Grossman's book ( I guess that is where you get it), I am
    the sheepdog, and I get paid for my sheepdog duties. I am willing to defend myself, my family, friends, and co-workers,and all the other sheep to the death, and have done so. Maybe you really are the wolf?!?

  • Raleigh Citizen Jan 25, 2008

    "Yeah, right. You sound a bit paranoid for one. For two, you would end up dead as well, if trying to go for a gun while a no knock warrant was being executed on you. leo-nc"

    A gentleman says he exercises his right to arm himself in case he is attacked by criminals, and a supposed law enforcement officer calls him paranoid and fantasizes about how he would be killed in the event of a no knock warrant, which is irrelevant to the original comment.

    It is important for citizens to arm themselves against criminals because law enforcement is not charged with protecting individual citizens, nor is it capable of doing so. No knock warrants are rare and their use legally restricted. This debate began with comments by armed citizens saying they would shoot police who invalidly entered their homes. Castle doctrine applies if the police have no warrant, an invalid warrant, or execute a valid warrant on the wrong address (Ex: cops shoot old lady in GA, father shoots back at SWAT in MN).