DURHAM Frank Clark fired at least two shots at police before an officer fatally shot him on Nov. 22, 2016, the Durham Police Department said today in the report on its administrative investigation into the incident in the McDougald Terrace community.
The administrative investigation included independent interviews of the officers, reviews of physical and forensics evidence, the criminal investigative file compiled by the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and the conclusions of the Durham County District Attorney, the department said.
The report on the investigation gave this account of the incident:
Five Durham police officers went to the housing community around 12:30 p.m. to make citizen contacts.
A Durham police officer, Master Officer Charles Barkley, saw Clark acting suspiciously standing near a dumpster and “Officer Barkley radioed the other officers with a description of the man who appeared to be avoiding him.”
After being approached by three officers – Barkley, Monte Southerland and Christopher Goss – Clark exhibited signs of intense nervousness and his hands were shaking.
“Once Officer Barkley asked Mr. Clark why he was so nervous and why he had tried to avoid him earlier, Officer Barkley noted that Mr. Clark then became even more nervous as his entire body began to shake,” the report said.
Clark showed signs of hesitation when informed the officers would perform a “quick pat-down.” Clark, in positioning and thus readying himself to receive a pat-down, raised his forearms very slowly.
“Mr. Clark only proceeded to inch his arms up as Officer Barkley continued to instruct him to raise them higher,” the report says. “As Officer Barkley reached in towards Mr. Clark’s body to begin the pat-down, Clark punched Officer Barkley in the face and a struggle ensued.”
Southerland could feel Clark repeatedly trying to pull something from his waistband and “after several hard pulls, Mr. Clark fired his gun and, at the same time, Officer Southerland felt sudden and intense pain in his knee.”
The report says that Southerland mistook the knee pain for a gunshot wound.
“While the struggle continued, Mr. Clark pointed his gun at Officer Barkley who drew his weapon in response. Officer Barkley did not fire his weapon fearing he would strike Officer Southerland. Officer Southerland, believing he was shot as the pain in his knee intensified, pushed Mr. Clark away from him.
“As Southerland was falling, he drew his weapon as well. As Clark turned to flee, he pointed his gun back in the direction of Officer Barkley, and fired a second shot causing Officer Barkley to begin firing at Mr. Clark. Officer Barkley fired six shots, striking Mr. Clark twice.”