Local News

Man dead after Fayetteville police shooting

Posted April 10, 2012 5:36 a.m. EDT
Updated April 10, 2012 5:08 p.m. EDT

— Fayetteville police say officers investigating a shooting at a party early Tuesday fired at a man who tried to run them over. The man was then found dead in his crashed car.

Witnesses told police that people at the party exchanged gunfire during a fight in a house in the 1500 block of Blan Street, near Murchison Road, around 2:15 a.m. Roman Drake, 26, drove away from the house and returned after police were there.

Police said Drake tried to flee when he saw the officers, and he struck a police car and tried to run over an officer standing next to another cruiser.

"Officers ordered the suspect to stop and at the same time tried to take cover and opened fired on the suspect. The suspect then drove into a house nearby," police spokesman Gavin MacRoberts said. 

Officers found Drake dead in the car with a handgun in his lap, police said. Investigators said it wasn't yet clear what killed him.

No one else was injured, including Drake's three young children who were in the home during the party and shooting.

Patrol Officers Jonathon Fisher, 34, and Sheila Thomas, 40, have been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of a State Bureau of Investigation review of the shooting. Those moves follow standard procedure for officer-involved shootings.

Fisher has been with the Fayetteville Police Department for four years and Thomas for six.

Drake's live-in girlfriend, Crystal Moore, disputed that he tried to harm police officers.

She said that, after a fight during a party at their home, some people came back and fired at their home. Drake went after them, she said, and when he returned, that's when he encountered the police.

Drake was drunk and panicked but never intentionally tried to run over the police officers, she said.

"He had charges before. They were just, like, little charges. He's never had anything with trying to go after the police," Moore said. "As a matter of fact, he knows not to go after the police. He knows to cooperate with them. He's never had a problem. They know him well, but he's never had a problem with them."

Drake had a 1-year-old daughter with Moore and two children from a previous relationship, she said.

"He was a good father, and his children are going to miss him dearly. He had a lot of family and a lot of friends that loved him," Moore said. "Everybody that knows me knows that he was my whole world ... I don't know what to do now."

Moore had convictions for carrying a concealed weapon, drug possession with intent to sell and driving while impaired, according to state Division of Adult Correction records.

No arrests have been made in connection with the fight or shots fired before police arrived. 

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