Local News

Man shot by Durham officer dies

Posted March 19, 2009 4:18 a.m. EDT
Updated March 19, 2009 4:36 p.m. EDT

— A man shot early Thursday by a Durham police officer died about 14 hours after the confrontation.

Police hadn't determined the man's identity before he died at Duke University Hospital Thursday afternoon.

Police responded to a "disturbance with a weapon" call at about 2 a.m. at an apartment complex at 1700 Hillcrest Drive after several people called 911 and reported hearing shots.

An officer patrolling nearby radioed that he heard eight to nine shots and asked for backup, police said.

Officers J.R. Broadwell and F.R. Cook went to the back side of the apartment complex on Sedgefield Street and saw a man armed with a gun come around the side of the building, police said.

"The man pointed a gun at Officer Broadwell, according to a preliminary investigation, and Officer Broadwell shot him when he failed to drop the gun," Police Chief Jose Lopez said.

Steven Capraun, who lives in the neighborhood, said he was awakened by the sound of gunfire.

"It was like boom, boom, boom, like that," Capraun said. "I knew what it was. I hear (gunshots) all the time."

Police have responded to at least eight calls in the area involving guns or gunfire, as well as one shooting, in the last year.

Lopez said the investigation hasn't found that Broadwell, who's been with the Durham Police Department for 10 years, did anything wrong.

"I've seen nothing, at this point, that would indicate anything different," he said.

State Bureau of Investigation agents and the police department’s Professional Standards Division are investigating the shooting. SBI involvement is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting.

Broadwell and Cook were placed on administrative duty with pay, pending the results of the SBI investigation. Such moves are standard procedure.

Lopez said the Broadwell and Cook were trying to process what happened in the incident.

"It's a situation where these officers are placed in life-threatening situations. They have to take actions that are going to impact them no matter what action they take," he said.