Man fatally shot by Durham police grabbed for officer’s gun, report says

A Durham police officer shot a 30-year-old man early Saturday after the man grabbed onto another officer’s gun and wouldn’t let go, according to a city report released Thursday.

Ondrae Hutchinson, 30, died after officers were called to a domestic incident at 9 Bevel Court around 5:20 a.m.

According to the report, a woman had called 911 to say the father of her child was damaging property inside the home and scaring her and her child.

“The woman screamed ‘get away from me,’ and a male was heard yelling in the background before the call was abruptly disconnected,” Police Chief C.J. Davis wrote in the memorandum to City Manager Tom Bonfield.

When the first two officers arrived, they found Hutchinson outside on the street. They tried to talk with him “as he yelled and ranted while walking around the street and into the driveway,” the report said.

When officer J.W. Lanier went into the garage to speak with the woman holding her infant son, Hutchinson entered the garage and disobeyed their orders to step back.

When Lanier and officer E.I. Masnik tried to handcuff Hutchinson, a struggle ensued and he grabbed Lanier’s gun with both hands, the report said.

Back-up officers arrived and yelled for him to let go of the gun. Hutchinson continued to grab onto the gun with one hand while punching the officer across the face with the other, the report said.

The struggle continued despite Masnik using a Taser on him, the report said..

“Officers repeated their commands for Hutchinson to let go of the gun, but when he failed to comply and continued to attempt to gain control of the weapon, Officer R.E. Jimenez shot Hutchinson,” the memo said.

Hutchinson was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.

The shooting is being investigated by the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, and the Police Department’s Professional Standards Division, which is standard procedure.

In the past, the findings of such investigations have been shared with the Durham County district attorney, who decided whether the officers would face charges.

Four officers were involved in the shooting. They are Officer Richard Jimenez, who joined the Durham Police Department in February 2015; Officer Jerry Lanier, who joined in June 2018; Officer Elizabeth Masnik, who joined in June 2017; and Officer Blake Mouzon, who joined in July 2018, according to a Police Department news release.

All of the officers were assigned to the Patrol Bureau and have been placed on administrative leave with pay, which is standard procedure in such cases.

Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer