Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman says she will not charge any of the three police officers involved in a police shooting that wounded a man and a police officer in a West Raleigh apartment last fall.
Chijioke Kennedy Madueke was shot by police in an apartment off Lake Dam Road in late November, after police say he rushed out of a bedroom toward three officers with a knife in his hand. Madueke, who survived the shooting, later acknowledged that he had a knife, but gave conflicting accounts about whether the knife was in his hand or his pocket when he came out of the bedroom.
Madueke, 28 at the time, was hit several times in the arm, leg and torso. One of the officers, C.N. Chandler, was hit in the abdomen, where the bullet was stopped by his ballistic vest. He was treated at WakeMed and released.
The State Bureau of Investigation reviewed the shooting and presented its results to Freeman, who announced Thursday that the officers involved were legally justified in firing their weapons and “did not use excessive force.”
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The shootings took place about 2:45 p.m. 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 – all fired at Madueke, according to a five-page summary of the investigation Freeman released Thursday. 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.
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 as Duford put his foot in the doorway to keep it from shutting. Duford said that Madueke’s left hand was in his coat pocket, and that when he ordered him to remove it he pulled out a knife, according to the report.
Duford backed up, drew his gun and ordered Madueke to drop the knife. A short time, Madueke “came charging out of the room, with his head low, ‘linebacker style’ and spring in the direction of Officer Duford with the knife in his hand,” Freeman’s summary says. Believing he posed an imminent danger, the officers fired at Madueke.