Local News

Standoff suspect faces kidnapping charges

Posted October 1, 2009
Updated October 2, 2009

— Police charged Justin Lamar Thomas, 25, Thursday for his role in a standoff that closed streets in west Raleigh Wednesday afternoon.

Police said Thomas discharged a gun outside the Raleigh Police Department substation at 601 Hutton St., then held police at bay for about an hour from a nearby building. He was taken into custody after being shot by police when he pointed a weapon at them.

raleigh standoff Raleigh standoff suspect faces charges

Thomas, who was hospitalized for a gunshot wound, faces six counts each of second degree kidnapping and assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer, according to arrest warrants. He also faces one count of going armed to the terror of the public and one count of discharging a firearm in the city.

Warrants will be served on Thomas when he is released from WakeMed and transported to the Wake County jail, Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

During the standoff, Sgt. C. Rosa, 42, Senior Officer D.G. Batton, 34, and Master Officer F.M. Patercity, 30, each discharged their weapons, Sughrue said. The three officers are assigned to the department’s Special Operations Division.

In accordance with departmental policy, they were placed on administrative duty following the incident, Sughrue said. As is standard procedure when a law enforcement officer fires a weapon, the State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.

Police began tracking the suspect after he barricaded himself behind a parked car across from the police substation, according to radio traffic released on Thursday.

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.

Radio traffic indicated there was gunfire inside the building. Police said the believed Thomas wanted to talk to them, but was getting agitated after seeing a police SWAT team on top of a nearby 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.

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.


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  • LongHorns Oct 2, 2009

    This guy wanted the police to kill him, but he did not get his whish. The officers that were there did good , and thanks for standing up for your officers Chief, they did a great job.

  • buckos18 Oct 2, 2009

    I'm sure the Officers were using bullets. I'm no genius, but the wound was non-life threatening because he was not hit in a lethal area. I'm sure the Officers were trying to hit the guy in a lethal area, however, under the stress of having someone pointing a gun at them, they may have missed. It does happen, they are human.

  • Mom2two Oct 1, 2009

    Suicide by cop. Might as well just lock him up in jail. There are no mental health services left.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Oct 1, 2009

    He was mainly showing signs of being suicidal. Raleigh had SWAT in place and it seems they didn't fire to kill in this case. EMS was waiting nearby so he got to the hospital quick. In this case, the police had plenty of time to determine his intent. In the case of the UNC student shot along the highway, officers had seconds to determine intent and couldn't risk their lives and had to fire to kill.

  • Eaglekeeper Oct 1, 2009

    "Why are the kidnapping chrges? Did I miss something?"

    If you hold someone during a standoff, it is considered holding them against their will. It is different than holding hostages. Therefore it is considered kidnapping. The article states he will be charged with 6 counts...I bet there were 6 officers inside the substation at the time.

  • clintoflannagan Oct 1, 2009

    purplepat777: I agree that the officers did a great job in a bad situation. However, your post seems to imply that they intentionally ended this in a non-lethal manner. Whenever a police officer pulls the trigger on his service weapon, particularly a special operations officer like these guys, they shoot to kill. So, it looks like to me that Mr. Thomas is lucky that he is still alive.

    Again, I completely agree that they did a great job in a very tough situation and that they should receive commendations for their efforts.

  • Beach4Me Oct 1, 2009

    Something hasn't been released yet. Three officers fired on the suspect and he only had a "non-life threatening" injury". Were they using BB's? Also, unless he was a complete idiot, why did he choose the PD substation to do this? Still way too many questions.

  • purplepat777 Oct 1, 2009

    The police officers did a remarkable job of bringing this stand-off to a quick and unlethal conclusion. I hope they're back on the job soon and get the comendations they deserve.

  • cary1969 Oct 1, 2009

    heard he went into an office occupied by NCSU employees and wouldn't let them leave and then told all of them to get out...maybe from that

  • carroll74 Oct 1, 2009

    Why are the kidnapping chrges? Did I miss something?