Alert Apex police officer's actions end in shooting of Most Wanted fugitive
Posted February 13, 2019 3:35 p.m. EST
Updated February 13, 2019 10:11 p.m. EST
Apex, N.C. — A man on the FBI Most Wanted list was shot and killed Wednesday by an FBI agent at an Apex hotel, authorities said.
An Apex police officer spotted a suspicious car overnight in the parking lot of Woodspring Suites, at 901 Lufkin Road, and later determined it was linked to Greg Alyn Carlson, FBI special agent-in-charge John Strong said.
Carlson, 47, was wanted in connection with multiple armed sexual assaults in the Los Angeles area and has been on the Most Wanted list since September. Documents detailing Carlson's crimes on the West Coast say he was known as a "hot prowl rapist," meaning a rapist who breaks into homes and attacks women when they're alone or sleeping.
Apex police notified the FBI, and after agents confirmed that the car belonged to someone staying in the hotel, they went to a room and were trying to take the occupant into custody when a scuffle ensued and the man was shot, Strong said.
An FBI agent fired one shot, he said. The man in the room was armed, but Strong declined to elaborate on the type of weapon he had or whether he tried to hurt the agents.
The officer-involved shooting is under investigation by the FBI's Inspection Division.
"What happened here today is not what we want to happen," Strong said during a news conference outside the hotel. "We want to capture the individual, give them their day in court and bring them to justice. What happened today was unfortunate."
Apex police weren't involved in the shooting, FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch said.
Strong and Apex Police Chief John Letteney credited the officer with helping take a dangerous fugitive off the streets.
"Our Apex police officers are around 24 hours a day, and they are very proactive in our community to prevent crime," Letteney said.
Paul Delacourt, assistant director of the FBI's Los Angeles office, said authorities believe the man killed was Carlson, but they want to check his fingerprints before making a positive identification.
Carlson put up his mother's Mount Pleasant, S.C., home as security in posting a $1 million bond in September 2017, and he then fled South Carolina, where he stole $75,000 from his mother, his stepfather's handgun and a rental car, according to court documents. In November 2017, he led police in Hoover, Ala., on a high-speed chase before escaping when officers ended the pursuit in the interest of public safety, court records show. He also had been seen in Jacksonville and Daytona Beach, Fla.
In addition to the sex assault charges, he also faced a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Strong declined to say how long Carlson had stayed at the hotel and said it was unclear whether he was involved in any crimes in North Carolina.
Authorities towed a white Hyundai Accent with South Carolina plates from the hotel parking lot Wednesday afternoon.
Woodspring Suites remained open after the shooting Wednesday, and Lynch said the FBI was trying to be as unobtrusive as possible during its investigation.
Hotel guests on Wednesday night said they had no idea Carlson was inside or that the FBI had showed up to take him into custody.
"That's very alarming. I had no idea. There's been altercations here before with people yelling, but I did not expect that at all," one guest said.