Local News

Officer shoots carjacking suspect in downtown Raleigh

Posted August 5, 2008 4:10 p.m. EDT
Updated August 5, 2008 10:53 p.m. EDT

— A police officer shot a carjacking suspect Tuesday afternoon in downtown Raleigh, a police spokesman said.

It began after Renford Butler, of Durham, robbed cab driver Ahmed Osman near Dorothea Dix Hospital at about 2 p.m, officers said. 

"The gun and the knife, something like a needle you know, (he) put it around my neck and took all my money and my phone," Osman recalled.

Osman said he drove Butler, 34, to Dorothea Dix before he was robbed and ordered out of the car. Osman was not injured and Butler fled in the cab.

"I'm still shaking, but I’m good. I’m alive. At least, I’m still alive,” Osman said.

Since the robbery happened on property owned by North Carolina State University, campus police put out an alert for the cab, which had a No. 30 printed on its side.

Just before 4 p.m., Raleigh Police Sergeant Ray Nantz was directing traffic on Poole Road in downtown Raleigh when he spotted the stolen cab.  The cab attempted to elude Nantz and a chase ensued. The cab crashed into a white van along the 200 block of north Dawson Street. 

Butler jumped from the vehicle and ran from officers who had arrived at the scene, police said. The suspect attempted unsuccessfully to enter a nearby building.

The officers asked Butler, armed with a straight razor, to surrender. When he began approaching the officers, while slashing the razor blade from side to side, Officer J. Bloodworth shot Butler twice.

Witnesses said they heard two gunshots.

"They swarmed. It was like 15 or 20 cops within two minutes. They did respond very well," witness Larry Allen said.

Butler was transported to WakeMed, where he was undergoing surgery Tuesday evening. The officers were not injured.

Officer Bloodworth joined the Raleigh Police Department in June 2002 and is assigned to Field Operations. He is on paid administrative duty while the State Bureau of Investigation and the Raleigh Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit investigate the shooting.

Butler has a record that goes back over 15 years. Convictions include assault on a woman, resisting an officer and obtaining property by false pretense.

“He told me if he saw me again, he'd kill me,” Osman said.

Osman, 26, is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is studying biomedical engineering and said he was driving a taxi to make extra money.

"Guess this is gonna be my last time, you know. No more driving cabs," he said.

Traffic was backed up along Capital Boulevard at Peace Street, as well as the intersection of Lane and Dawson streets for a few hours following the shooting.

Raleigh Police officers A. R. Caruana and L. M. Younker were involved in a two-vehicle traffic collision at the intersection of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Grantland Drive as they were responding to the officer-involved shooting. The officers and two people from the other vehicle were transported to WakeMed. Their conditions were withheld.

If you were a witness to either of these events and have not yet been interviewed, you are asked to call the Raleigh Police Department at 919-890-3555.