Clayton Police Capture Fugitive; Resident Shot By Police During Search
Posted February 3, 2004 6:07 a.m. EST
CLAYTON, N.C. — Authorities were able to capture a fugitive Tuesday, but not before police shot an armed resident because they felt threatened.
Clayton police were looking for Rudy Gonzales, who jumped out of a North Carolina probation officer's vehicle near the American Legion during transport Monday night.
As police searched for Gonzales in a neighborhood near Liberty Lane, a resident, Manuel Pena, 59, was apparently startled by the commotion outside his mobile home and appeared at the door with a rifle.
"They told the resident to put his weapon down; he did not," said Lt. William Newsome, of the Clayton Police Department. "He pointed it at one of the officers, and the officer shot the resident."
Newsome said the officers identified themselves and were in full uniform.
Pena, who was shot twice in the shoulder, was listed in critical condition Tuesday at WakeMed, according to his son, Hector.
"They used excessive force; they shouldn't have shot him," Hector Pena said of the police. "I just hope that he holds on."
The family is angry, saying police overreacted and shot at Pena multiple times.Hector Pena said he counted 16 spent shells on his father's property.
Pena, a U.S. citizen, does not speak English, and according to his family, did not understand.
"They came onto my land and shot my father in the middle of the night," Hector Pena said. "Why? Because they let someone else go.
"To top it off, they dragged his body after he's been shot and bleeding to death and left him on the gravel drive."
Authorities said they captured Gonzales late Tuesday afternoon. The Clayton police officers are on administrative leave while the State Bureau of Investigation investigates.