State News

Wilmington Police Shoot Man After He Fires at Them

Posted April 6, 2007 8:06 a.m. EDT
Updated April 6, 2007 5:46 p.m. EDT

— A man who had been running partially clad in a city street was shot to death Thursday after he fired at police officers, the Wilmington Police Department said Friday.

The victim was identified as Phillipe Elon McIver, 23, of 1605 Forbes Court, Wilmington.

Two officers -- Jason D. Whitt, 26, and Jason M. Howard, 25 -- responded about 11 p.m. Thursday to a report that a man was running naked and when they arrived at Princess Place Drive and Greendale Drive the found a partially clad man.

The officers confronted McIver, and there was a struggle. McIver managed to get Whitt's weapon and fired at him, police said. Howard then fired back, striking and killing McIver, the department said.

Further information about the number of shots fire will not be available until after an autopsy is performed, Wilmington Police spokeswoman Lucy Crockett said.

A crowd of about 50 people gathered at the scene for a few hours after the shooting and more officers were called in, Crockett said.

The city police and the District Attorney have requested an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation.

"There's not a lot that I can add to it" because the investigation is continuing, Crockett said.

Howard, who was hired Sept. 5, 2005, completed 18 weeks of basic law enforcement training this past January and is midway through his field training period. Whitt was hired Sept. 29, 2004.

Thursday's shooting was the second in recent months involving law enforcement officers in New Hanover County.

Peyton Strickland, 18, a Cape Fear Community College student from Durham, was shot to death at his Wilmington home while deputies were serving arrest and search warrants. Strickland and two friends were charged with assaulting a University of North Carolina at Wilmington student in November and stealing two PlayStation 3 consoles from him.

The deputy who shot Strickland, Cpl. Christopher Long, was fired a week later and later indicted on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the shooting.

But the murder charge was dismissed a day after the indictment was returned. The foreman of the grand jury said he checked the wrong box on the indictment form and that members of the grand jury didn't find enough evidence to charge Long with murder.

The case has been turned over to the state.