Local News

Report: Man shot by Durham police had been drinking

Posted July 22, 2014

Durham Police Department

— A man who was shot in the head by a Durham police officer earlier this month had been drinking before he stood outside his second-floor apartment and began shooting at passers-by below, according to a preliminary report released Tuesday.

Oliverio Calvario-Villalba, 38, told investigators he was in the Mathison Street apartment with Cayetano Castro-Merino during the July 16 incident. Calvario-Villalba said the two had been drinking beer when he got tired and fell asleep. He said he awoke to the sound of a gunshot shortly after 2 a.m. and found Castro-Merino, 21, lying in the doorway of the apartment.

Officer Brian K. Johnson, who fired the shot that hit Castro-Merino, is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which is procedural in officer-involved shootings.

According to the report, Johnson and two other officers responded to a 911 call at the apartment building, where Almarosa Castillo-Jimenez reported a man on the second floor fired five shots at her, her child and her friend as they stood in a nearby yard.

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez initially said Johnson commanded Castro-Merino in both English and Spanish to drop his weapon. However, the preliminary report said the command was given only in English. It does not say whether Castro-Merino spoke English.

Johnson said Castro-Merino raised his gun at him and did not drop it. The officer, who was about 20 yards away on the ground, fired one shot.

According to the report, the officers then saw Calvario-Villalba in the doorway. Johnson yelled commands at him in English and Spanish, but he refused to comply.

When officers went upstairs to handcuff Calvario-Villalba, they found a bleeding Castro-Merino on the ground, his arm over a Smith & Wesson .22-caliber rifle with a 50-round magazine and a scope, the report stated. He was taken to Duke University Hospital with serious injuries.

A police spokeswoman said Tuesday that Castro-Merino remains hospitalized in critical condition. Calvario-Villalba was questioned and released.

In the report, investigators also said they found a loaded revolver, several bags of what appeared to be cocaine and a large number of beer cans in the front room of the apartment.

When report is completed, the State Bureau of Investigation will turn it over to the Durham County District Attorney’s Office for review.


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  • Ginger Lynn Jul 23, 2014
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    My exact thought!

  • Naysayer Jul 22, 2014

    It least it helped ease the pain a bit.

  • lessismore Jul 22, 2014

    Standing in her yard...at 2 AM? Seriously, who stands in their yard with children at 2 AM