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Charges pending against man who sparked standoff

Posted September 30, 2009

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— A standoff outside of the Raleigh Police Department's substation at 601 Hutton St. ended around 3 p.m. Wednesday, police said. Justin Lamar Thomas, 25, was taken into custody after being shot by police when he pointed a weapon at them.

Raleigh police chief outlines shooting Raleigh police chief outlines shooting, standoff

David Hughes was taking a break from his job at a nearby photography business, when he said he saw a man standing behind a green pick-up truck.

"Then he reached in and pulled out a gun and fired a shot into the air," Hughes said.

When two officers came out of the substation, the man took out another gun. Officers told the man to put the guns down. He soon fled, Hughes said.

Harriet Reynolds, an employee of Triangle Family Services, said she heard a loud boom just before 1 p.m.

"I was scared," she said.

Within minutes, heavily armed police officers had flooded the parking lot, pressing employees to leave the building, Reynolds said.

"They had their elbows on my car with their guns drawn and there were police everywhere," she said.

Reynolds and about a dozen co-workers walked to the N.C. State Fairgrounds where they waited out the standoff.

Police closed Blue Ridge Road between Hillsborough Street and Western Boulevard and evacuated nearby businesses while they searched for the shooter, who had holed up at 628 Hutton St. Police said Thomas ordered employees to leave the building.

Thomas stepped into view several times over the next 90 minutes, at times pointing a gun to his head, police said. He finally stepped outside and pointed his weapon at officers, who shot him, Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan said.

"The officers were confronted with what we see right now as a clear danger to them and their safety," Dolan said after the shooting.

Thomas was taken to WakeMed with non-life-threatening injuries, Dolan said.

As is standard procedure when a law enforcement officer fires a weapon, the State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.

Police searched a home at 1201 Swallow Court in Raleigh Wednesday evening. According to court records, Thomas lives at the residence but police would not comment on the search.

"All I can say at this point is that we’re following up on our investigation in a number of ways," Police spokesman Jim Sughrue said in a statement.

Sughrue said charges were pending against Thomas.


Dozens of WRAL.com visitors reported police activity Wednesday afternoon. If you see news happen, ReportIt! Your stories, photos and video may show up on TV.

49 Comments

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  • dono422 Oct 1, 2009

    This man was apparently asking to be shot, why else drive to a police station and start shooting. RPD tried talking to him and then it came down to either him shooting himself or a cop trying to disarm him. They shot and wounded him most likely with a "less than lethal round". Excellent work by a well trained and managed department. He is lucky, now he gets a second chance over at the mental hospital.

  • AnotherIgnoredComment Oct 1, 2009

    Racecard, if it s righteous shoot, it matters not where the shootee is hit.
    wa4mjf

    Yeah, I know....but you know that Journey and the rest of them would be here screaming how LEOs are evil if they hit him in the back....notice he can't bring himself to post on this story and compliment the cops for doing a good job

  • RonnieR Oct 1, 2009

    Ol Forrester, one has to check what is behind the target before commencing fire.

    Racecard, if it s righteous shoot, it matters not where the shootee is hit.

  • RonnieR Oct 1, 2009

    I think RPD HQ is up in N Raleigh somewhere, sienomine. The ole HQ is now a District office for Downtown District. I think they moved as they are building a new HQ.

  • sinenomine Oct 1, 2009

    Thank you, doubletap.

  • working for deadbeats Oct 1, 2009

    SBI is called in when the suspect actually get's shot. Not when a officer simply fires their weapon. Please report accurately. Oh, I know for a fact the suspect was shot yesterday.

  • doubletap357 Oct 1, 2009

    From The radio traffic that I was monitoring I would say that RPD did an excellent job and was very efficient and professional. citizens should be proud of their Police Dept. Job well done guys & gals of RPD.

  • doubletap357 Oct 1, 2009

    sinenomine,, I have never been associated with RPD so I'm not familiar with their logistics as far as their vehicle inventory or placement.

  • cragan Oct 1, 2009

    i was listening to the on air coverage and they never stated he aimed to weapon at pd units and all he did to the others was tell them to leave the building

  • RDUTEC Oct 1, 2009

    I was listening to all the two-way radio traffic of this event the same time I was scanning RAL and the other news web site. At least 5 times I heard the incident commander tell someone to call him on his cell and not give any information over the air. RAL may have been a bit slow, but only because they weren't getting any info. I also heard him tell several units to go back to whatever they were doing before the incident. He had enough help. The PD did a very professional job. RAL gave the facts as they got them.

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