Local News

Police Shoot Man In Face During Durham Standoff

Posted June 12, 2006 7:59 a.m. EDT

— A Durham man was shot in the face by Durham police during a standoff Monday afternoon on East Geer Street, but the man's injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

The incident started at 10:32 a.m. when officers got a call about a disturbance with a weapon at the Biscuitville, 1806 Holloway St., police said in a statement released to the media.

Two people told officers they were in line at the drive-thru when a man in a burgundy Dodge Durango pulled up next to them, pointed a gun and accused them of robbing his mother.

Officer C.L. Harrell arrived on the scene and tried to stop the Durango, but the driver sped away, police said. The Durango struck a vehicle on East Main Street near Gary Street and then drove through Woodlawn Cemetery.

Officers then spotted the Durango near a business at Hardee and Geer Street. As officers approached the vehicle, the driver jumped out. Officers chased the man across a creek and into the woods near Tobacco Road. Several minutes later officers spotted a man matching the suspect's description near Cheek Road.

Officers chased the man, who ran into Ace Radiator & Muffler at 910 East Geer St. and locked himself in a bathroom. Police evacuated the business and blocked off a section of

East Geer Street

near Miami Boulevard.

The man, Christopher Thomas Vaughn, 20, of Durham, told officers several times that he was going to harm himself, police said.

The man spoke for a while with police negotiators, but refused to come out of the bathroom. Once the man became unresponsive and no longer spoke with officers, members of the Police Department's Selective Enforcement Team entered the building because they feared the man may have harmed himself, police said.

SET officers ordered the man several times to come out and then deployed pepper spray under the bathroom door. When the man still did not come out, officers entered the bathroom around 2:30 p.m.

The man was shot during the entry by SET Officer H.L. Davis, a seven-year veteran of the Durham Police Department, police said.

The man, who was conscious and talking, was taken to Duke University Hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to the face. Davis has been placed on administrative duty with pay, which is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting.

The incident is being investigated by the Durham Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, which is the usual procedure in an officer-involved shooting.