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Raleigh Police Release Tapes of Friday Incident

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RALEIGH — Police radio transmissions from Friday'sshoot-out in the Chavis Heights neighborhood have now been released. Thetransmissions indicate Detective Paul Hale and his partner Pat Niemannapproached the car of murder suspect Kawame Mays without backup. Just asthe two officers approached the vehicle, shots rang out. Detective Haledied from a bullet wound to the head.

Detective Hale was working on only his third shift with the drug unit,trying to apprehend a suspect police believed was tied to a drug-relatedmurder. That suspect ended up being much more dangerous than Hale and hispartner anticipated. Listening to the police radio transmission you canhear how quickly it all happened.

Traveling house to house in southeast Raleigh, Detectives Hale andNiemann were looking for the man who had murdered Michael Walker 11 hours earlier. They were in plain clothes and looking for then suspect,Mays, but they weren't sure if they should confront him before they hadbackup.

Audio and transcripted excerpts from the police tape follow:

Det. Hale: "Are those uniforms still going to be overthere? Nieman was asking me whether they should stop the people or wait onthe uniforms. I wasn't sure if we still were going to have the uniforms ornot."Sgt. Ken Sholar: " I wasn't aware that the uniformswere there. I'll arrange to have the uniforms close by."

Uniformed officers were in the area, but not with Detectives Hale andNiemann. The detectives saw their suspect, Mays, getting into a car in aparking lot.

Det. Hale: "Subject's in the car, getting in the car ... location." Sgt. Sholar: "All units in the area stand-by. Subjectgetting in the car."

By the time Mays got into the back seat of the car, Detectives Hale andNiemann decided they would approach with their gun still in theirholsters.Then things happened very quickly.

Det. Niemann: "Shots fired ... shots firedRaleigh." Dispatcher: What's your exact location?" Det. Niemann: "727 ... 727 East Lenoir ... 727 EastLenoir." Dispatcher: "727 East Lenoir Street, signal 25"[officer in trouble] ...Det. Niemann: "514 to Raleigh ... I have an officerdown ... seriously injured ... I have the suspect under cover right now... ahh ... I have one lone gunman ... one lone gunman in the car."

Detective Niemann fired back wounding Mays in the shoulder.Police leaders say the only reason Niemann wasn't shot was becauseMays' 9 millimeter gun had jammed.

Unidentified officer: "Make sure we have the road openso we can get the ambulances in and out of there. Make sure the cars arenot blocking the road for that purpose."

Published reports say the detectives' guns were not drawn as theyapproached the suspect's car.