A man killed by police Wednesday pulled a gun from his waistband and pointed it at officers before he was shot, Durham police said.
Three officers were trying to serve an arrest warrant on the man when he came out of an apartment and started to run, with police in pursuit, according to a statement released Wednesday night.
The man, whose name was not released, fell to the ground after being shot. Police tried to revive him, the statement said, but he was pronounced dead a short time later.
A gun reported stolen from North Driver Street in 2016 was found beside him, the statement said.
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“We would like to express our concern and condolences to all involved,” Police Chief C.J. Davis said. “Any loss of life is a tragic event.”
The arrest warrant had been issued Wednesday morning based on the man violating his pretrial release conditions, police said. He was awaiting trial on August 2016 charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon and felony conspiracy. He also faced an indictment for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, police said.
The three officers, members of the department’s Selective Enforcement Team, were wearing tactical vests with the word “POLICE” written on the back and front.
Following standard procedure, the three officers were placed on administrative leave with pay.
The shooting occurred at about 2:20 p.m. in the 2500 block of Glenbrook Drive in the Durham Housing Authority’s Club Boulevard “Bluefield” Community, where a large crowd gathered behind yellow police tape.
The atmosphere grew heated, with onlookers yelling insults at dozens of police officers. Many referred to the Nov. 22 officer-involved shooting death of Frank “Scooter Bug” Clark in the McDougald Terrace housing community.
Clark was killed two days before Thanksgiving. The incident remains under investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation, which will now also review Wednesday’s shooting as is customary with officer-involved shootings.
Community members said the man killed Wednesday went by “Simba.”
“He was friends with my grandson. ... My grandson is 19 years old and Simba was 24,” said Chris Blalock. “Police need to stop killing our young black men!”
Surrounded by supporters, the dead man’s father approached the police tape. He and his supporters demanded he be allowed to see his son’s body.
“I explained to him that the area is still an open crime scene with evidential value. It is imperative that the area is kept in pristine condition,” Durham Deputy Chief Anthony Marsh said afterward.
“Also, he doesn’t want to see his son lying there, that way,” Marsh said.
Davis arrived at the shooting scene around 3:20 p.m. and spoke with investigators before leaving around 4 p.m.
Onlookers shouted “They executed him!” and “You didn’t need to shoot him multiple times!” at the chief and her officers.
Marsh spoke to many in the crowd, he said, answering what questions he could.
Standing on a lawn outside of the yellow tape, local activist Umar Muhammad urged those present to attend municipal meetings and vote.
“It only takes 250 to 300 votes to swing an election in Durham,” Muhammad said. “We only have power in numbers.”