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Friends remember Cary hostage-taker in vigil

Posted February 13, 2011
Updated February 14, 2011

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— Friends gathered Sunday night to remember Devon Mitchell, who was fatally shot by police because they believed he was holding seven people hostage with a gun inside a Cary bank.

Devon Mitchell carried a concealed object into the Wachovia bank at 10050 Green Level Church Road Thursday. He held seven people hostage for three hours with the concealed object, which he said was a gun.

"Despite what the original 911 call reported, despite what he said to the hostages, despite what he told our hostage negotiator, despite what we all thought we saw when he came out of the bank with something pointed at one of the hostage’s heads, we now know there was no gun," said Cary Police Chief Pat Bazemore.

Bazemore said officers "did exactly what they were trained to do and what they were expected to do in this situation," but Mitchell's friends questioned the use of force against someone police now know was unarmed.

"Why? No one deserved to die the way that he died," said Samantha Perry, Mitchell's friend.

A Town of Cary spokeswoman said the ultimate goal was to get everyone out of the Wachovia safely, including Mitchell, and that all options were explored prior to the shooting.

Bazemore declined to specify how many times Mitchell was shot as he walked out of the bank with what appeared to be a gun held up to a woman's head.

samantha perry Friends question why Cary hostage-taker was shot

"Why Devon set this all in motion, why he wanted us all to believe that he had a weapon and that he was prepared to kill with it are questions that we will never have the answers to. But it’s clear that's what Devon wanted us to believe," she said.

Standing in the very spot Mitchell was gunned down, friends lit candles and shared memories about the teen they described as an artist, musician and sports fan who struggled with mental health issues.

Perry said Mitchell was like her big brother.

"I've known Devon going on seven years now," she said. "Practically we grew up together."

Perry watched the hostage situation develop on television.

"They said (the suspect was wearing) red pants and purple shirt and, you know, Devon always wore that. I had a feeling deep down inside that was him," she said. 

Perry said Mitchell felt like he needed love in his life.

"He would never harm anybody. He never has. He's been going through so much lately," she said.

The incident was the first fatal officer-involved shooting in the history of the Cary Police Department, Bazemore said.

She identified five law enforcement agents who discharged their weapons: a Wake County sheriff's deputy, Brad Manville, and Cary Senior Police Officer Ricky Burch, 45, Sgt. Rick Glancy, 42, Senior Police Officer Irvin Leggett, 42, and Master Police Officer Chris Redig, 31.

Burch joined the department in 1999, Glancy in 1993, Leggett in 1998, and Redig in 2007. All four are assigned to the police field operations bureau.

The officers have been placed on administrative duty until the investigation into the shooting is complete, which is standard procedure whenever an officer discharges a weapon.

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  • dakota_loves_me Feb 16, 2011

    @Mindcontrolbox, technically is it suicide by cop! The "kid" in question as they stated, had mental issues. His actions were clear as day and he knew what he was doing. Acting as if your holding a gun to someones head just to get a police officers attention is basically asking to be taken out. What else do want them to do? Tell him "Oh by the way, you don't have a gun?" They acted on their codes and if you have no respect for the Cary Police Department, why trash them publicly? It would suck if you were on the receiving end of this whole mess.

  • jodip2000 Feb 16, 2011

    mindcontrolbox,
    How do you feel the Cary Police should have reacted to the situation? As you know, even the "gunman" wanted people to believe that he had a gun. The pictures and video confirm such.

  • mindcontrolbox Feb 15, 2011

    "Crazed Gunmen" are the new "Terrorists". Be afraid, Be very afraid. Terrorists just arn't scary enough anymore. Thankfully we have the Cary Police to keep us safe. Don't forget to pay your taxes. The Police may not have been able to buy the non-lethal projectile guns they didnt use.

  • mindcontrolbox Feb 15, 2011

    Folks this is not suiside by cop. If that's what it was the three hour hostage fasade wouln't have been carried out. Mr. Mitchell Never demanded Money, Never Showed a Gun, and held hostages with his hat as a weapon. If Cary citizens want to understand this incident in the proper context here it is like it or lump it. The Cary Police and 15 other militarized Police organizitions ran DRILLS simulating a COLUMBINE TYPE scenario less than three weeks ago. The DRILLS were held at Dillard Drive Elementary and Dillard Drive Middle Schools in Cary with wonderful media coverage showing they were ready for the upcoming "crazed gunmen" that must be rearing to strike. Two weeks later this happens and before the facts are straight the National Media has spread the FALSE story of an "armed" "bankrobber". This story was in many many papers all over the country as well as in many National Publications. HMM? The FACT that he was unarmed wasn't disclosed for two days. This is a National Trend. Domestic

  • Vietnam Vet Feb 15, 2011

    Sounds to me like it was a case of "suicide by cop" with a media flourish. Kid had to know that under the senario HE created by both actions and his words he stood a VERY good chance of being shot. It is a shame this young person felt he needed to die.

  • souljp1 Feb 15, 2011

    For lack of a better word or phrase, I see a lot of dummies on here that just dont get it.. If the guy really wanted to hurt someone do you really think he would say call 911 from jump..Duh
    He did not want to hurt anyone except himself, I think it was his way of committing suicide.

  • seaturtles246 Feb 14, 2011

    So, why is this bothering us so much? Is something telling us that maybe we need to do something about this? I mean, these kids are our future. We are the ones in charge of shaping and molding them into law abiding citizens. What can we do to make sure that this doesn't happen again? It could take a small miracle, but small miracles happen everyday. So, why can't we do something?

  • whyalltheproblems Feb 14, 2011

    no seaturtles, you are not going to get slapped. what you said is exactly true. it is such a tragedy.

  • seaturtles246 Feb 14, 2011

    This is one emotionally charged tragedy. I'll probably get a slew of slapping for saying this, but I tend to feel a little sorry for Devon. He obviously had issues and took them to the wrong level. He obviously needed help, but never received any. No one will ever know what his intentions actually were. Most of our brains just aren't wired that way. At the same time, I also feel for the officers involved in taking his life. After being in contact with one of my CPD friends, I have come to understand, sort of, well, not really, what they are going through. The hostages, were amazingly brave, so kudos to you for remaining calm throughout this incident.
    Again, just my opinion, but someone lost a son, a brother, a friend. If this wasn't so disturbing, there wouldn't be so many comments here and there wouldn't be so many comments if so many of you weren't affected.

  • packersfan4life Feb 14, 2011

    Who cares if he didn't have a gun? How were they supposed to know that? It's common sense that if you hold a bunch of people hostage, you're going to get shot. AND THIS IS COMING FROM A LIBERAL!!!

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