WINSTON-SALEM, NC – A white police officer from North Carolina shot and killed a black passenger who refused orders not to search for a weapon after a nighttime traffic stop that led to a physical fight, authorities said on Saturday.
The shooting occurred after Officer DE McGuire stopped a car containing two men and a woman around 10:30 p.m. On Friday during a routine patrol northeast of the city center, according to a press release from the Winston-Salem Police Department.
Edward Van McCrae, 60, was in the back seat and started making suspicious movements, police say. McGuire told McCrae to stop looking for hidden areas of the vehicle, but McCrae continued, according to the press release.
"After being removed from the vehicle, Mr. McCrae had physical problems with Agent McGuire and rejected multiple verbal commands from Agent McGuire." "Stop reaching," said the press release. "As the fight continued, a gun became visible to Officer McGuire."
McGuire shot and killed McCrae when he refused to give orders not to reach the gun, the statement said. A police report characterizes the exchange as an assault on the officer with a firearm.
The State Bureau of Investigation has been hired to investigate the shooting, which occurred in a residential area of modest homes. A spokesman for the state agency, Brent Culbertson, confirmed in an email that McGuire is white and McCrae was black.
McGuire, who has worked for the department since 2015, has been assigned administrative duties pending investigation.
The press release says that McCrae used his body camera from the beginning of the traffic stop, and requested support when he saw McCrae's suspicious movements. State law typically requires a judge to sign public images of the police body camera.
Other agents arrived seconds after the shooting and tried to resuscitate McCrae, as well as an emergency medical team, according to authorities. He was pronounced dead at the place. The other occupants of the car were not injured.
Police said McGuire suffered minor abrasions after the altercation.
A woman who lives near the scene of the shooting, Delphine Bias, told WGHP-TV that she heard gunshots before walking to her window to see McCrae lying on the floor.
"I heard four or five shots," Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow! & # 39; "she said. "So when I jumped to run to see what happened, I saw a gentleman lying there on the street."
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