Local News

Autopsy: Police shot Cary hostage-taker at least 12 times

Posted May 12, 2011

— A Cary man who took hostages at a bank three months ago died in a hail of gunfire from police, according to an autopsy report released Thursday.

Devon Mitchell, 19, was shot at least 12 times as he left the Wachovia bank on Green Level Church Road, holding what appeared to be a gun to a woman's head, the autopsy report states. An autopsy found 14 gunshot wounds, including one to the head and several to the chest and arms, but the medical examiner said a couple of the wounds might have been caused by the same bullet.

A toxicology report indicated there was no alcohol in Mitchell's system. There was no information about tests for any drugs in his system.

Mitchell held seven people hostage in the bank for three hours on Feb. 10 as police surrounded the building. He released the hostages one at a time and finally left the bank with a woman. Officers opened fire, believing he had a gun, but they later determined he was unarmed.

Cary Police Chief Pat Bazemore said after the incident that Mitchell had told the hostages and a police hostage negotiator that he had a gun. She said her officers acted correctly based on that information.

Mitchell struggled with mental health issues, according to friends, who described him as an artist, musician and sports fan. He dropped out of Panther Creek High School in 2008 but had recently re-enrolled and worked at a Bojangles'.

Cary spokeswoman Carrie Ronan declined to comment Thursday, saying the autopsy report speaks for itself and noting that the State Bureau of Investigation is still reviewing the incident.

Five law enforcement agents discharged their weapons during the incident. They were identified as Wake County deputy Brad Manville and Cary police officers Sgt. Rick Glancy, 42, Senior Police Officer Ricky Burch, 45, Senior Police Officer Irvin Leggett, 42, and Master Police Officer Chris Redig, 31.

All four Cary officers are assigned to the police field operations bureau.

The case marked the first fatal officer-involved shooting in the history of the Cary Police Department.

284 Comments

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  • armedchick May 13, 4:50 p.m.

    Sherlock, you obviously watch too much TV, i can assure you there wasn't someone standing in the middle of the incident with a megaphone advising the officers when to shoot and when to stop. 5 officers fired 14 rounds. So on average each officer fired 3 rounds. Officers are taught to continue shooting until the threat no longer exists. Personally if I am being held hostage I dont want there to be a limit of number of officers shooting at the suspect. I love the comments WRAL doesn't allow. I wonder how many PRO LEO comments are actually not making it to posting?

  • btneast May 13, 3:14 p.m.

    using a high powered scope which should have revealed "the weapon" to be fake

    The more comments you make, the more you reveal how little you know. Many toy handguns are difficult to tell if they are real from 5 ft away, much less from 200 ft though a scope. I can tell you have never looked through a rifle scope before. If his hand was obscured by clothing, how then could he tell?

  • Sherlock May 13, 1:31 p.m.

    Most guns have on 9-10 bullets were did the others come from? this goes to bad command direction and as such need a change it the city.

  • 4Strikes May 13, 9:36 a.m.

    "verifying CPD personnel have at a minimum, a HS diploma and previous experience other than the shooting gallery at the state fair."

    They don't teach marksmanship in HS. The state fair though, now thats not a bad idea.

  • more cowbell May 13, 9:16 a.m.

    Isn't there some sort of oversight for incompetent law enforcement practices in NC? This fiascoe, in combination with the blundered Brad Cooper investigation would certainly qualify for verifying CPD personnel have at a minimum, a HS diploma and previous experience other than the shooting gallery at the state fair.

  • gunny462 May 13, 8:19 a.m.

    "but 12 bullet wounds and at least 14 shots fired seems like extreme overkill to any sane individual"

    ??? "Five law enforcement agents discharged their weapons"

    "and that does not mean fire a full clip of ammo"

    If what you say is true and all 5 emptied their weapons at him that's over 70 rds, plus whatever the 'sniper fired'

    As the last hostage is still alive I PRESUME that they used controlled fire and a misguided youth is dead. Stating that he had a gun was what led directly to his own death, suicide by cop.

  • gunny462 May 13, 8:11 a.m.

    "There was one where the bank robber was wearing body armor and had powerful weapons. There must have been 20 to 30 cops firing at him over a few minutes. He wasn't totally bulletproof"

    If you're talking about the Panorama City robbery, there was 2 guys both wearing full bodyarmor. Both if I remember correctly had AKs with ammo drums (to begin with). They were also using cop killers which sliced through the lvl2(?) armor the cops had.

    One was taken out by ahead shot after his gun jammed and the other was hit in the leg(?) and bled out before EMT arrived. The second perps family sued the state and LEOs because they felt that the cops had let him bleed out and die on purpose.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT May 12, 7:54 p.m.

    How many times have we seen a police shootout with bank robbers in California where the firefight seems to go on for eternity? And the culprits keep going like the energizer bunny. There was one where the bank robber was wearing body armor and had powerful weapons. There must have been 20 to 30 cops firing at him over a few minutes. He wasn't totally bulletproof, but the officers couldn't seem to take the guy down. After seeing this stuff, I believe Cary PD did a fantastic job taking this guy down in about 2 seconds.

  • thomasanimation May 12, 7:31 p.m.

    Telman,

    You are right! No one can honestly say they would know how the would feel if this was their child unless they are put into the situation. I just hope that I raise my two kids to have enough integrity to not stoop to such levels.

    And yes, if my child was held hostage or even me for that matter, I dont care where I am, My request is to call the Cary PD.

  • scousler May 12, 7:28 p.m.

    The job of the police is to protect and defend and that does not mean fire a full clip of ammo when unnecessary. He was shot in the head by a sniper, a sniper presumably using a high powered scope which should have revealed "the weapon" to be fake. If the police aren't equipped with non-lethal weapons and not trained to employ them in a hostage situation - they need to get better training and equipment. I know it's easy to second guess - but 12 bullet wounds and at least 14 shots fired seems like extreme overkill to any sane individual.

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