State News

Wilmington Police Shoot Man After He Fires at Them

Posted April 6, 2007

— A man who had been running partially clad in a city street was shot to death Thursday after he fired at police officers, the Wilmington Police Department said Friday.

The victim was identified as Phillipe Elon McIver, 23, of 1605 Forbes Court, Wilmington.

Two officers -- Jason D. Whitt, 26, and Jason M. Howard, 25 -- responded about 11 p.m. Thursday to a report that a man was running naked and when they arrived at Princess Place Drive and Greendale Drive the found a partially clad man.

The officers confronted McIver, and there was a struggle. McIver managed to get Whitt's weapon and fired at him, police said. Howard then fired back, striking and killing McIver, the department said.

Further information about the number of shots fire will not be available until after an autopsy is performed, Wilmington Police spokeswoman Lucy Crockett said.

A crowd of about 50 people gathered at the scene for a few hours after the shooting and more officers were called in, Crockett said.

The city police and the District Attorney have requested an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation.

"There's not a lot that I can add to it" because the investigation is continuing, Crockett said.

Howard, who was hired Sept. 5, 2005, completed 18 weeks of basic law enforcement training this past January and is midway through his field training period. Whitt was hired Sept. 29, 2004.

Thursday's shooting was the second in recent months involving law enforcement officers in New Hanover County.

Peyton Strickland, 18, a Cape Fear Community College student from Durham, was shot to death at his Wilmington home while deputies were serving arrest and search warrants. Strickland and two friends were charged with assaulting a University of North Carolina at Wilmington student in November and stealing two PlayStation 3 consoles from him.

The deputy who shot Strickland, Cpl. Christopher Long, was fired a week later and later indicted on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the shooting.

But the murder charge was dismissed a day after the indictment was returned. The foreman of the grand jury said he checked the wrong box on the indictment form and that members of the grand jury didn't find enough evidence to charge Long with murder.

The case has been turned over to the state.


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  • Reason Apr 9, 2007

    Get Serious, get serious. A Tazer would not have worked. Officers are trained (and should be) to meet force at a higher level than the force presented to them (i.e. if a guy has a knife, shoot him). So in this case, why would you Tazer somebody with a gun? Furthermore, the Tazer cause the involuntary contracting of muscles. This could include the muscles in the hand in which the suspect was holding the gun, and therefore could have resulted in additional shots being fired, possibly hitting the officer or someone in the community.

    And let me add my support to Independent Thinker’s comment about evaluating the psychological state of a person that is shooting at you.

  • Censor victim Apr 8, 2007

    Independent thinker-your 7:18 post makes no sense to me. The point of my earlier post was that the NAACP beats the drums of racism and descrimination often when none exists in order that they remain in the spotlight. How does that make them the same as the other groups you cited?

  • El Doggo Apr 8, 2007

    Good shooting cop! I am glad you practiced. There is NO sense in wounding the creep. Even if you were not a cop you had every right to kill the loser for shooting at you - his gun or not...
    I hope the perp had as many rounds into him as you could get!

  • independent_thinker Apr 8, 2007

    The NAACP is no different than any group with an agenda. That includes the ACLU, the NRA, the Teamsters, the National Evagelicals of America, Focus on the Family, the Democrats, Republicans, or anyone with a point to make.

    Organizations have a life of their own and members become personally and professionally linked to outcomes.

    They're free to do what they want and you're free to listen to their message or ignore it accordingly.

  • independent_thinker Apr 8, 2007

    I'm fairly liberal. But let's consider the facts. Police officers must be armed today. When they are forced to use a gun, I expect deadly consequences. I wish it didn't have to happen, but it does. If the officers' account of the incident proves correct, this is a case of unfortunate cause and effect.

    You can't raise a gun to a trained PO and expect the Officer to not return deadly fire.

    I doubt the suspect was thinking clearly, but the police can't diagnose and treat psychological problems when a suspect is armed.

    I don't understand folks who congratulate the cops for effectively sweeping the streets. I doubt this officer wanted to kill someone Thursday. It's a tragedy for everyone involved.

    If there's more to the story, we'll all know soon. If not, the facts will stand.

  • goheels Apr 8, 2007

    OK now.....if the "PERP" had been a white man would everyone be up in arms?? No, I think not!!! This is freaking crazy folks, the man got the officers gun and shot at him and the other cop shot the perp.......that is justice, not a reason for people to be ranting and raving. And, for those who criticize, step your a** out there and do the job yourself for a month or two and see how it truly is. The cops get criticized so much and most of the time you don't even know the race of the person until the confrontation is under way. You stop a car with tinted windows at night and there is no way to know whether they are red, yellow, black or white or green for that matter until you speak to them! It doesn't matter anyway, as you do your job for all people. WAY TO GO more scumbag off the street dealing drugs to our kids!

  • Censor victim Apr 7, 2007

    The NAACP is not interested in the truth. Have you ever heard of a single thing they looked into that they decided there was no racism, no discrimination, that blacks were in the wrong. Without percieved or imagined racism, the NAACP has no relevancy. They, like many blacks are stuck in the past.

  • Al Capone Apr 7, 2007

    I don't get it either. Somebody calls 911 about a naked man chasing kids and when the police come to help, they are bombarded with projectiles. Netx time, let him run free and save your kids yourself. Unfriggin-believable. Go ahead NAACP, look into it. You won't like the truth, not that it ever matters to you anyway.

  • Al Capone Apr 7, 2007

    I missed the part about him getting the officers gun. You're right, a tazer would have stopped it.

  • thepeopleschamp Apr 7, 2007

    Here is what else the Wilm. newspaper reports. McIver has several felony and misd. drug charges. There were several 911 calls on him that night. He was partially clothed and was chasing children in the area for unknown reasons. After the incident w/ police a crowd gathered and threw bottles at police and more shots were fired in the area and police had to use tear gas to break up the crowd. I know in my neighborhood the people I live near would not rally together to support a naked, child chasing, drug dealing felon that took a shot at the police. One more thing, the NAACP is "looking into it". What is society coming to???