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Police: Wake Forest man charged officers with knife before being shot

Posted August 22, 2015

Alan Joseph Rushton was arrested on July 20, 2015, and charged with communicating threats. He was shot and killed by Wake Forest police on Aug. 21, 2015, after authorities say he charged officers with a knife.

— Wake Forest police say a 38-year-old man was shot and killed late Friday after he repeatedly threatened police officers with a large kitchen knife when they responded to a domestic situation at a home on Chamberwell Avenue.

Alan Joseph Rushton, of 1117 Chamberwell Ave., died at WakeMed, police said Saturday morning.

According to a spokesman for the police department, officers responded to Rushton's home at about 8:30 p.m. When they arrived, Rushton ran to the second floor of the home and displayed a large kitchen knife before barricading himself in a room.

Negotiators tried for about two hours to get Rushton to surrender, police said.

When officers tried to take Rushton into custody, he charged them with the knife, spokesman Bill Crabtree said, and Officer Dustin d'Hemecourt shot him. Ruhston died at WakeMed.

“It is a tragedy any time our officers are forced to use deadly force against a citizen we are sworn to serve and protect,” Wake Forest Police Chief Jeff Leonard said in a statement. “We worked extremely hard to peacefully resolve the situation in an attempt to get Mr. Rushton the help he needed. Unfortunately, by his actions, he forced the response of our Tactical Service Unit. We extend our thoughts and prayers to Mr. Rushton’s family, as well as to Officer d’Hemecourt.”

d'Hemecourt, a tactical services unit officer, has been a member of the Wake Forest Police Department since February 2014. He was placed on paid administrative leave following the shooting, common practice after officer-involved shootings.

Wake Forest police say Friday was the second time in two months that officers had been called to Rushton's home. On July 21, officers responded to a domestic situation that also led to Rushton barricading himself inside the home. That incident ended when Rushton voluntarily left the home after several hours.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is investigation the shooting. No additional information has been released.

Friday's officer-involved shooting is the second in Wake Forest since May. On May 6, 18-year-old David William Johnson was shot and killed after he fled from police and a car and exited the vehicle with a handgun in plain view. An SBI investigation of the incident is ongoing.


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  • Mike Hill Aug 22, 2015
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    Yeah Chris take a chill pill. This had nothing to do with recent AA incidents. He was armed and charging police. Operative word is ARMED.

  • Wayne R Douglas III Aug 22, 2015
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    I wonder if the Revs are going to attend the riots in Wake Forest. Oh wait. Never mind.

  • John Smith Aug 22, 2015
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    Because it's Saturday morning and most folks are sleeping or out enjoying this beautiful weather instead of trolling a news story that was just reported 2 hrs ago. MAYBE, it's because everyone understands that he tried to fight the law and the law won. Hate it for his family, but he never learned not to bring a knife to a gun fight. Good job WFPD, glad you're all ok.