Local News

Wake DA finds officers justified in shooting suspect in Raleigh convenience store robbery

Posted December 18, 2020 3:43 p.m. EST
Updated December 19, 2020 8:55 a.m. EST

— Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman found that two Raleigh police officers who shot a robbery suspect in May were justified in their actions.

David Atkinson "was attempting to elude arrest following an armed robbery of a convenience store" when he shot Officer M.P. Brown in the stomach. It was then that officers fired back, killing him.

In a four-page report issued Friday, Freeman lays out the encounter, reconstructed from interviews with the officers involved, witnesses, surveillance and body camera video and evidence from the scene.

Brown and Officer S.M. Pekich had been on administrative duty while the investigation played out. That is standard procedure when an officer is involved in a shooting.

Freeman echoed the findings of an initial investigation by the Raleigh Police Department, which found Atkinson had robbed a BP gas station at 2120 New Bern Avenue and was getting away on foot when Brown and Pekich arrived. When he saw them in uniform, Freeman's report says, he ducked and crouched in an attempt to evade capture.

Brown chased Atkinson, who fired back, hitting Brown in his bulletproof vest. Brown told SBI investigators that he believed Atkinson was going to try to kill him.

Freeman concluded that Brown and Pekich's use of deadly force was lawful.

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