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Search warrant details events of police-involved shooting

Posted October 8, 2008

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— A former Marine shot and injured by a Cary police officer last month became frantic and refused to drop a handgun before he was shot, according to a search warrant released Wednesday.

James Cummings, 31, was shot early Sunday, Sept. 28 at a residence on Dundalk Way after officers responded to a distress call from his fiancé.

In a 911 call released last week, she told a 911 dispatcher that Cummings had been drinking, was "going crazy," and that she thought he was going to try to kill himself.

According to a probable cause affidavit for a search warrant, Cary police, including members of the department's Crisis Intervention Team, went to the home and were able to speak with Cummings and his friends.

"At some point during the conversation, Cummings became agitated, ran into the kitchen and grabbed what appeared to be a black-colored semi-automatic handgun," the affidavit states. "Cary police officers challenged Cummings to drop the weapon, and he did not comply."

Officer Joseph Kennedy fired his gun once at Cummings, striking him in the abdomen, the warrant stated.

Cummings was listed in good condition at WakeMed Wednesday. His father, James Cumming Sr., has said his son is mentally ill and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Town of Cary spokeswoman Susan Moran said Wednesday she could not confirm the name of the officer. Last week, she said, he was on administrative duty pending the conclusion of internal and external examinations.

The State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to review the case, which is standard protocol for any officer-related shooting.

27 Comments

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  • moller Oct 9, 2008

    This all started because someone thought the guy wanted to kill himself. My question is, since when is it anyone else's business if he wants to make that decision?

  • Common Sense Man Oct 8, 2008

    "Cause of Death - - death by CPD"

    I guess you didn't read the article. He didn't die.

  • 1 of the original Americans Oct 8, 2008

    Cause of Death - - death by CPD

  • 10-39 Oct 8, 2008

    donnaforeman36:
    I believe this was handled the best way possible considering the choices Mr. Cummings made. Officers are trained to stop the threat, not aim at a less life threatening area of the body. Mr. Cummings made some bad choices that put the Officers in a bad situation. They were called to help him, and that was their mission. But they were going to do that in a manner that will keep them and anyone else safe. There is always something to learn from this type of incident, maybe we should learn to not second guess our officers... sorry, I didn't mean to preach

  • voiceofreason32 Oct 8, 2008

    what if??? what if??? what if??? I love you Monday morning quarterbacks...what if worms had gun....birds wouldn't mess with them; guess what, that ain't ever gonna happen. You can ask all the what ifs you want but what happened isn't going to change. Bottom line: The officer acted on a split second decision, most of you don't know what that is like...he did what he had to do...deal with it.

  • donnaforeman36 Oct 8, 2008

    This is not a matter of right or wrong. Could it have been handled better and what can we learn from this. Was this gentleman pointing the gun BB or not at the officers? Was the CIT officer in charge of the scene? Was it practice to aim at a less life threatening area of the body? I am not downing the officer. I am just saying what we can do better. The police were called because the man wanted to kill himself so the police ended up shooting him. We need to look at what, why and how without pointing fingers and blaming so we can learn from it. CIT is a good program. I am sure these officers did there best. What can we do to help them do it better?
    dkojr

  • wrrgirl Oct 8, 2008

    i knew you were kidding Elmo. ;)

  • Phoenix68 Oct 8, 2008

    Cookie Me Elmo, thanks for the clarification. There are so many Po-Po bashers out there taking pot-shots at LEO, it’s hard to distinguish the difference. I do get frustrated trying to constantly “justify” LEO actions. You don’t hear plumbers or dentists having to constantly explain… :)

  • Warden Oct 8, 2008

    I'm relieved that he wasn't killed. A bad scene came out okay in the end - as okay as it probably could have. Having lived with PTSD and with a Marine vet pop who has PTSD, I have a little sympathy for the man - even more for his family, and am glad he's alright.

    I do think the CPD did exactly what they could/should have, and I agree that a single shot is showing restraint when someone is holding a gun and won't set it down.

    Perhaps now, therapy can be attained, and peace may be had in this situation.

  • Road-wearier Oct 8, 2008

    So the officer was facing a man who was agitated, evidently intoxicated, and armed with a shotgun...the man refused to comply with an order and the officer shot him.

    Seems pretty reasonable to me...

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