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Police release radio traffic from Raleigh chase, shooting

Posted August 6, 2008

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— Police officers chased a stolen taxi through downtown Raleigh Tuesday afternoon at speeds up to 90 mph before the vehicle crashed and the driver was shot, according to radio calls released Wednesday.

Renford Butler, 34, of Durham, was listed in critical condition Wednesday at WakeMed after he was shot twice by police.

Officer J. Bloodworth, who joined the Raleigh Police Department in June 2002, is on paid administrative duty while the State Bureau of Investigation and the department’s Internal Affairs Unit investigate the shooting. Such investigations are routine in officer-involved shootings.

The chase began when cab driver Ahmed Osman was robbed near Dorothea Dix Hospital, police said. Osman wasn't injured, but the robber fled in his taxi.

Since the robbery happened on property owned by North Carolina State University, campus police put out an alert for the cab, which had a No. 30 printed on its side.

An officer directing traffic on Poole Road spotted the cab. The cab tried to elude the officer, and a chase ensued.

Radio calls from officers to the 911 dispatch center describe a chase that sped past Raleigh Country Club on King Charles Road and around the campus of St. Augustine's College at 65 mph as the taxi headed toward downtown. Speeds reached 90 mph along Person Street before the taxi was involved in a wreck near the Governor's Mansion, according to radio traffic.

"The vehicle's in bad shape, but he's still running," one officer reported.

The chase proceeded down Lane Street at 55 mph before the taxi wrecked again near the intersection of Lane and Dawson streets. The carjacker then jumped from the taxi and tried to flee, and he waved a straight razor at officers as they cornered him, police said.

Police ordered the man to drop the razor, and Bloodworth shot him when he refused to comply, police said.

Two officers were injured in a wreck as they responded to the shooting. Officer Lea Marie Younker was driving on Martin Luther King Boulevard en route to the shooting scene with lights and sirens on when a car pulled out in front of her. 

James Edward Clifton, 51, of 3700 Tryon Road in Raleigh, pulled out from Grantland Drive to cross Martin Luther King Boulevard when Younker hit his car.

Both officers in the police cruiser and Clifton and his passenger were taken to WakeMed for evaluation.

Butler has a criminal record that goes back 15 years. His convictions include assault on a woman, resisting an officer and obtaining property by false pretense.

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  • tarheelgirl07 Aug 7, 2008

    thanks to ALL the PUBLIC servants that resolved the situation. When this HABITUAL criminal gets out of the hospital, the Dept. of Prisons needs to put his butt out for work to pay back the medical bills, property damages, etc. that resulted from his actions, instead of my hard-earned tax dollars.
    Hmm, wonder if he is affiliated w/ any gangs from Durham?

  • Brejasa Aug 7, 2008

    My prayers go out to the family of the victim as well as the officer. Regardless of what he has done, his life has ended and there are lives affected by that. We all have people who are not perfect and who break the laws in our lives and if it was your son daughter or whatever, you wouldn't feel the indivisual deserved it. I hope the officer is fine b/c yes he did what was needed and I'm not taking anything away from that but he still took someone's life. That would have to bother any sane human being no matter how we justify it. Our society is becoming sad, we're suppose to be the land of opportunities. We wonder why some people do the things that they do, our nation justifies everything else.

  • WRALSUCKS Aug 7, 2008

    Good shooting RPD! Thanks ....

  • djofraleigh Aug 6, 2008

    Kidnapping, carjacking, armed robbery, holding a blade to the throat of the UNC senior all are serious enough to me that the man should have been chased and taken into custody.

    When faced with officers with drawn guns, the man pulls his same weapon and COMES at them, threating them. The officers are justified in shooting him instantly. They chased him to take custody of him, not let him continue on his way.

    This man wanted to go to Dix for a reason, probably b/c he belongs there. What happened there? Did he go in? He is probably mentally ill.

    This is a place I wish the LEOs had stun guns with wires to fire into him, and time to use them. He'd have gone into Dix, gotten on meds, gotten out, gone off meds, done something again...if that is his MO.

    Let's blame it on city living, cause out in the country he'd be hiding in the barn, talking to the cows, who are very good listeners.,

  • Just the facts mam Aug 6, 2008

    There are givers and takers in this world.

    The criminal laying up there in the hospital will get his bills paid for by the rest of us, and while serving time in prison will be living off us taxpayers - he probably has been a taker all of his life and probably always will be.

    The police officers who put their lives on the line and protect us from the criminals (for little pay and little appreciation) are givers - they give to society and try to make the world a better place.

    We need less takers in this world and more givers...

  • ThePunisher Aug 6, 2008

    Good job on behalf of the RPD!

  • TRivers Aug 6, 2008

    I want to personally thank Officer J. Bloodworth and the rest of the RPD. They are the ones that keep us safe in this city and and I am proud of them. Keep up the great work !

  • illegals--GO HOME Aug 6, 2008

    A person can kill you just as dead with a knife or razor as a gun as a fellow LEO was killed with a pocket knife my second year on the job in my agency. He closed a distance of 20+ feet in a couple of seconds or less.

  • Steve Crisp Aug 6, 2008

    One of the things they teach in police academy is the danger of knives and other sharp objects even if the officer is NOT in close quarters. Indeed, even if the suspect is already shot and obviously dead.

    For instance, a suspect is running down a flight of stairs with a knife. His intent is to kill the officer standing at the bottom of the stairway. The officer shoots the suspect twice in the head, killing him immediately. Physics, though, continues to carry the suspect downward with the knife still in front of his now lifeless body. The suspect falls on the police officer, the knife penetrates his chest, and the officer is just as dead as if he had put up no resistance at all to the suspect.

    Knives can also be thrown. A skilled knife thrower can do as much lethal damage whether that knife is in his hand or coming at you at 80 mph point first.

    Bottom line, any time a weapon of any kind is drawn on an officer, the officer immediately eliminates the threat. No questions asked.

  • Blue Shirt Aug 6, 2008

    Good shooting Officer Bloodworth

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