Crime

Wife of man shot and killed by Wake Forest police told 911 dispatcher he had become violent

The wife of a man shot and killed by a Wake Forest police officer on Friday told a 911 operator that Alan Rushton had become violent during an argument.

Crystal Rushton said her husband cornered her in a closet and slammed her head on a door frame, according to a 911 call released by the town.

“I was in there because I didn’t want to argue and he got kind of violent before,” she said during the call.

Alan Rushton was arrested in July and was charged with threatening his wife, according to arrest records.

On Friday, Crystal Rushton told the dispatcher she was in the front yard of the property in the 1100 block of Chamberwell Avenue and that she had her two sons with her.

“I can’t leave,” she said during the call. “He’s got the keys to the Pathfinder and my Jeep isn’t running. He’s even got my bank card. I can’t even feed my kids.”

Police responded to the Rushton home about 8:30 p.m. Friday. Alan Rushton, 38, brandished a large kitchen knife after officers arrived, and he barricaded himself in a room and refused to drop the knife, police said.

A police tactical unit and negotiators arrived, but after about two hours, Rushton charged officers, police said.

Officer Dustin d’Hemecourt, a member of the tactical unit, shot Rushton, who was taken to WakeMed where he died, according to police.

D’Hemecourt, who joined Wake Forest police in February 2014, was placed on paid administrative leave while the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Wake Forest Police Department’s internal affairs unit investigate.

“It is a tragedy any time our officers are forced to use deadly force against a citizen we are sworn to serve and protect,” Wake Forest Police Chief Jeff Leonard in a statement. “We worked extremely hard to peacefully resolve the situation in an attempt to get Mr. Rushton the help he needed. Unfortunately, by his actions, he forced the response of our Tactical Service Unit. We extend our thoughts and prayers to Mr. Rushton’s family, as well as to Officer d’Hemecourt.”

This was the second fatal officer-involved shooting in Wake Forest this year.

In May, officers David Cohen and Darryl Ragland fatally shot 18-year-old David William Johnson when Johnson refused to put down a gun after a car chase.

Cohen and Ragland were placed on paid administrative leave and returned to duty May 26. The SBI finished its investigation and handed the case over to the Wake County District Attorney’s Office. It’s unclear if records from the investigation will become public.

Mechelle Hankerson: 919-829-4802, @mechelleh

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