A 24-year-old man exchanged gunfire with a police officer before he was fatally shot late Monday morning in the backyard of a home on Donald Ross Drive, according to a report by Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown released late Friday afternoon.
Jaqwan Julius Terry, who lived several blocks away on Warren Avenue, pointed a handgun at Senior Officer B.K. Burleson after a short chase that ended at 311 Donald Ross Drive, according to the report. The officer “drew his firearm and fired at approximately the same time that Mr. Terry fired at Officer Burleson,” the report said.
Burleson was struck in the leg during the shootout, but he continued firing at Terry, who was still pointing his weapon at him, according to the report.
One of Burleson’s colleagues, Master Officer B.S. Beausoleil, arrived. When he saw Terry still pointing a gun at Burleson, he believed the officer’s life was in danger and fired at Terry, “who fell to the ground, still holding the firearm,” according to the report. The report does not mention any other witnesses to the incident.
Both Burleson and Terry were taken to WakeMed, where Terry was pronounced dead.
Police reported the shooting to the State Bureau of Investigation, which will investigate and submit its findings to the Wake County District Attorney. The Raleigh Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit will conduct an administrative investigation that focuses on whether the officers followed department policies.
The shooting happened shortly after 11:36 a.m. when a woman who lives in the 200 block of Donald Ross Drive called 911 and told an emergency dispatcher that Terry was outside with a gun.
The woman later told police that Terry had been her boyfriend, but that she had told him earlier in the day she did not want to see him anymore. She said Terry later returned to her home, behaved aggressively, displayed the gun and told her he was not going to allow her to leave him. The woman told the officers that she feared for her safety, ran inside, locked the door and called 911.
The shooting, on Aug. 29, happened six months to the day after Raleigh Senior Officer D.C. Twiddy fatally shot another 24-year-old man, Akiel Denkins, in another Southeast Raleigh neighborhood. That shooting also took place after a short foot chase and after a struggle that began when Denkins tried unsuccessfully to scale a fence.
According to the report, Terry had left the woman’s home by the time Burleson arrived. Terry was near enough, though, that the woman pointed him out to Burleson, who asked “if he could have a word with him in an attempt to investigate the report of his earlier threatening behavior toward the resident,” according to the report.
Terry turned and ran toward the 300 block of Donald Ross Drive. Burleson pursued Terry on foot and called in the pursuit over his radio.
Terry ran one block away and veered off the sidewalk into a wooded area alongside the home at 311 Donald Ross Drive, where he encountered a wooden fence. He was attempting to jump over the fence when Burleson caught up with him and pulled him down to prevent him from entering the backyard of the home, according to the report.
The two men struggled while Burleson gave “multiple commands” for Terry to stop resisting and get on the ground, the report said. The officer saw a handgun directly underneath Terry during the struggle and unsuccessfully tried to push him away from the weapon. Terry picked up the gun and pointed it at Burleson as the officer was attempting to stand up, according to the report.
The exchange of gunfire between Terry and the officers lasted about five seconds. Terry was struck by gunfire multiple times “at various frontal and side locations,” according to the report.
Burleson was treated at WakeMed and released. Beausoleil was not injured.
Both officers’ patrol cars were equipped with dash cameras. But because Burleson never activated his blue lights, his camera was not recording. The recording from Beausoleil’s dash camera did not capture any images, but it did record audio portions of the incident, according to the report.
Raleigh police are not equipped with body cameras.
The Wake County District Attorney’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation were both contacted after the shooting, which is standard protocol whenever an officer discharges his or her weapon. The Raleigh Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit are also conducting an investigation of the officers’ use of deadly force.
Burleson and Beausoleil have both been assigned to administrative duties pending the completion of both investigations.