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DA: Chatham County deputies justified in shooting chase suspect

Posted February 22, 2010

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— Chatham County deputies were justified in shooting at an armed man during a standoff along Alston Bridge Road, east of Siler City, on Sept. 17, Jim Woodall, district attorney for Chatham and Orange counties, said Monday.

The armed man, David Scott Herring, 35, of 505 Herring Path in Bear Creek, died at the scene.

Herring shot both Capt. Roy Allen and Sgt. Chris Perry, the Chatham County Sheriff's Office said.

The shootout occurred after a car chase that started near the Moore County line when an officer attempted to pull over a vehicle that matched the description of one involved in a shooting about an hour earlier, Maj. Gary Blankenship said.

During the chase, the suspect stopped his vehicle about five times, Woodall said. Three of those times he confronted officers with a loaded handgun.

At times the suspect held the gun to his own head, waved the gun around and shouted to officers "Shoot me," Woodall said.

"At every opportunity officers attempted to talk the suspect into putting the gun down and surrendering peacefully. Officers employed non-lethal means to subdue the suspect on two separate occasions without success," Woodall said.

The chase ended in a standoff about 20 miles from where it began. The suspect exited the vehicle and began firing a handgun at officers. Seven officers in the line of fire shot back at the suspect, Woodall said. The suspect was shot 14 times.

"Each of the officers returning gunfire at the suspect acted in self defense and in defense of their fellow officers," Woodall said.

No charges will be filed, Woodall said.

At the time of his death, the suspect had alcohol and cocaine in his system, Woodall said. Two containers with residual amounts of cocaine were also found inside the suspect’s vehicle.

11 Comments

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  • Lightfoot3 Feb 23, 2010

    Release the FULL video! That might would quell some of the questions. No reason to keep it hidden.

  • thinkin out loud Feb 23, 2010

    We used to teach the "double tap" but not anymore. We now teach shoot till the threat stops. If that means 1 shot or 100 shots, whatever it takes to stop the threat.

    I assure you those 14 rounds (and the other who knows how many that missed) were fired in no more than 2 seconds. Every officer that had a clean shot would have fired. I will assure you also that none of those officers started their day (or their career) wanting to shoot anyone.

    I do think there should be some sympathy for the dead man in the sense that he was in such a mental state that he thought the solution was death.

    God bless those that are willing to place themselves in danger in order to protect those that cannot or will not.

    I challenge everyone that reads this. Go get 3 thank you cards and send 1 each to your local Law Enforcement agency (police or sheriff), Fire department and EMS provider.

  • Bartmeister Feb 23, 2010

    Hey mewuvbb = The only reason he was shot 14 times was they ran out of ammunition. If you account for the missed shots, based on the number of cops shooting at him, he's lucky he wasn't shot more. This ain't Hollywood Sally, you shoot at or kill a cop in real life, your destiny is predetermined.

  • Bartmeister Feb 23, 2010

    He said shoot me. They did.................... Next story

  • Redneck Fun Feb 22, 2010

    Some comments made on here really make me wonder how people function without using there brain. These officers went home, and two were still inujred. I don't care if they shot him 45 times a piece!!

  • cuffusion Feb 22, 2010

    He was too much of a coward to end his own life.. so he forced others to terminate it for him... forever leaving an impact on those he placed in this position. Clearly the outcome is as he wished.. so there should be no sympathy for him.. it is only unfortunate that others are now facing the psychological implications of actions outside their control..

  • bcockman Feb 22, 2010

    Do you think the officers had time to stand around and say "Ok, are you going to return fire at this suspect, or do you want me to?" In Law Enforcement we are trained to "double tap" when we are in a situation like this, which means you fire 2 shots, stop and access the situation and if needed fire again. If 7 officers fired at the suspect and he was only hit 14 times then they did what they were trained to do.

  • RPD07 Feb 22, 2010

    mewuvbb

    Being shot 1 time is the same as being shot 14 times, in terms of deadly force. In a legal concept, the actual number of shots fired does not make a difference.

    I also don't think you are in any position to judge giving the fact that you have never been trained or encountered a situation like this.

    How are two officers that have been shot supposed to decide "hey, you shoot"..."no, you do it". This is LIFE or DEATH. Each officer is going to protect himself to their fullest ability and if that means it takes each one 7 shots, then guess what? IT TAKES 7 SHOTS!

    Real life is not the movies. People who get shot once do not suddenly fly back 10 feet and explode at the site of the gunshot wound. It may very well take 25 gunshots to stop a person depending on shot placement and the subjects mental status. People have the ability to fight through more than what you think.

    Please, go back to your fantasy world and leave real life situations to those that live in it.

  • leo-nc Feb 22, 2010

    Does it really matter? The guy would have been dead no matter what, so 5 or 14 isn't going to matter. Dead is dead, and cops get to go home to their families. end of story, really...

  • PManTosh Feb 22, 2010

    I am no expert by any means, but think of it like this if there are 100 cops with guns and they are in a stand off with a armed suspect, and the suspect points his/her (have to be politicaly correct don't want to offend anyone here) gun at the officers, they (the Officers will more than likely react as they were trained, and guess what? there is going to be one hundred guns firing in the same direction at the same person (suspect), and the odds are that the suspect will be getting struck a few times mayby 100 or maybe less? If he died because he wanted to point a gun at an officer then oh well, maybe he should not of pointed his gun at the Officers to begin with!

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