Local News

Standoff suspect faces kidnapping charges

Posted October 1, 2009 3:12 p.m. EDT
Updated October 2, 2009 5:29 a.m. EDT

— Police charged Justin Lamar Thomas, 25, Thursday for his role in a standoff that closed streets in west Raleigh Wednesday afternoon.

Police said Thomas discharged a gun outside the Raleigh Police Department substation at 601 Hutton St., then held police at bay for about an hour from a nearby building. He was taken into custody after being shot by police when he pointed a weapon at them.

Thomas, who was hospitalized for a gunshot wound, faces six counts each of second degree kidnapping and assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer, according to arrest warrants. He also faces one count of going armed to the terror of the public and one count of discharging a firearm in the city.

Warrants will be served on Thomas when he is released from WakeMed and transported to the Wake County jail, Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

During the standoff, Sgt. C. Rosa, 42, Senior Officer D.G. Batton, 34, and Master Officer F.M. Patercity, 30, each discharged their weapons, Sughrue said. The three officers are assigned to the department’s Special Operations Division.

In accordance with departmental policy, they were placed on administrative duty following the incident, Sughrue said. As is standard procedure when a law enforcement officer fires a weapon, the State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.

Police began tracking the suspect after he barricaded himself behind a parked car across from the police substation, according to radio traffic released on Thursday.

Police closed Blue Ridge Road between Hillsborough Street and Western Boulevard and evacuated nearby businesses while they searched for the shooter, who had holed up at 628 Hutton St.

Police said Thomas ordered employees to leave the building.

Radio traffic indicated there was gunfire inside the building. Police said the believed Thomas wanted to talk to them, but was getting agitated after seeing a police SWAT team on top of a nearby building.

Thomas stepped into view several times over the next 90 minutes, at times pointing a gun to his head, police said. He finally stepped outside and pointed his weapon at officers, who shot him, Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan said.

"The officers were confronted with what we see right now as a clear danger to them and their safety," Dolan said after the shooting.

Police searched a home at 1201 Swallow Court in Raleigh Wednesday evening. According to court records, Thomas lives at the residence, but police would not comment on the search.

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