A man who was shot by police in a West Raleigh apartment last week rushed out of a bedroom toward the officers with a knife in his hand, according to a report about the shooting from Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown.
In the resulting gunfire, the man with the knife, Chijioke Kennedy Madueke, and one of the officers, C.N. Chandler, were shot.
Chandler was hit in the abdomen, where the bullet was stopped by his ballistic vest. He was treated at WakeMed and released.
Madueke, 28, was hit several times in the arm, leg and torso and remains at WakeMed in stable condition.
The shootings took place about 2:45 p.m. on Nov. 30 at 1230 University Court in the Lake Park Condominiums, off Lake Dam Road south of Avent Ferry Road. An emergency dispatcher told officers that a tenant who had been evicted that morning had returned to the apartment and broken in, according to a recording of the police radio traffic released Dec. 1.
Chandler and two other officers who had gone to the apartment – R.D. VanHouten and T.A. Duford – have been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is under investigation, as is customary in police-involved shootings. All three officers fired at Madueke, according to Deck-Brown’s report. The report does not say which one struck Chandler.
The apartment is divided into four bedroom suites, each rented separately, with a shared kitchen and a common room. When the three officers arrived, they were let into the common area by Madueke’s sister and brother, who told them that Madueke was in the bedroom suite he used to rent, according to the report.
Duford spoke to Madueke through the door, asking him to come out. Madueke opened the door slightly, so Duford could see him, but refused to come out. After some time, Madueke stepped back from the door and “pulled a wood-handled kitchen knife with a three- to four-inch blade from his pocket,” according to the report.
Duford backed up, drew his gun and ordered Madueke to drop the knife. All three officers “backed up to various locations around the apartment’s common area,” with guns drawn, as Madueke went back into the bedroom and closed the door, according to the report.
A few seconds later, Madueke “rushed out of the bedroom toward Officer Duford and Officer Chandler in a low crouch with the knife in his hand,” the report says. Believing he posed an imminent danger to the officers and his siblings, the officers fired at Madueke. The names of the siblings are not included in the report.
None of the officers was wearing a body camera, Deck-Brown wrote, but Madueke’s brother told investigators he recorded the incident on his cellphone. Raleigh police and the State Bureau of Investigation want to see the video, but the report says it “has not yet been retrieved or reviewed.”
Raleigh police notified the SBI shortly after the incident, which is standard procedure after an officer-involved shooting. The SBI will submit its findings to the Wake County district attorney.
Deck-Brown’s report was delivered to City Manager Ruffin Hall, to comply with the city’s practice of providing an account of shootings involving police officers within five business days.
Court records indicate that Madueke’s landlord, Siddharth K. Patel, had sought to have him evicted from the apartment for not paying October rent of $340 and refusing to leave. Patel returned to court Nov. 7, when a small claims judge issued the order that evicted Madueke from the apartment. Madueke was not present during the hearing, court records show.
Madueke had signed a rental agreement that began June 9 and was supposed to continue month to month after July 31, according to a copy of the agreement filed with the court. Patel told the court that he notified Madueke in writing on Sept. 15 that he needed to “vacate my unit” by Oct. 8.
Police body cameras
Raleigh police have begun testing body-worn and dashboard-mounted cameras from the second of three prospective vendors, with an eye toward equipping 600 officers with body-worn cameras over the next three years.
The department began testing the first vendor’s products in October, with 20 officers wearing cameras and five of them also receiving dash cameras in their cars.
The department has issued guidelines that spell out when body-worn cameras must be activated and some situations in which they must remain off. The cameras must be turned on during all contacts involving “actual or potential violations of the law,” including traffic stops and arrests. Police also must use the cameras for calls that involve emotionally or mentally disturbed people or that might involve weapons.