A Durham police officer shot and wounded a man who police found holding a McDonald's employee in the darkened restaurant after they answered a report that a robbery was happening, authorities said.
Officers entered the business and saw a man, identified as Dennis Lawrence Palm Jr., 26, of Durham, with his arm around a female employee’s neck.
“Every indication was that he was going to harm and was capable of killing the victim,” Police Chief Jose L. Lopez said.
After a brief standoff, one of the officers, Sgt. Glen Price, fired one shot, striking Palm in the face. Palm was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries that do not appear to be life-threatening, and remained hospitalized Wednesday afternoon.
Palm has been charged with two counts of second-degree kidnapping, one count of attempted common-law robbery, two counts of assault on a female and two counts of communicating threats.
The woman he was holding was not injured.
Price has been placed on administrative leave with pay, which is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting. He joined the Durham police force in 1995 and is assigned to the Patrol Bureau.
The incident is being investigated by the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation. The Durham Police Department’s Professional Standards Division and Criminal Investigations Division are also investigating the incident, which is also standard procedure in any officer-involved shooting.
“This is a real serious example of what officers have to go through on a daily basis,” Lopez said. “Split-second decisions that involve the lives others.”