DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Durham police officers fatally shot a person who they said was violently assaulting a gas station clerk on Wednesday morning, according to Durham Police Chief Patrice Andrews.
The shooting happened at the Circle K at 109 N.C. Highway 54 West. Officers were dispatched just before 3:30 a.m. to an attempted suicide call. They were told a man inside the store was cutting himself, according to a news release from police department spokesperson Kammie Michael.
Upon arrival at the gas station, “officers discovered that the front door to the business had been locked and officers made forcible entry” into the building, Andrews said.
Police found the suspect inside the store “violently assaulting the store clerk” with a sharp object or weapon, according to the chief.
It was at that point that officers shot the suspect. He died at the scene, the release said.
The store clerk was seriously injured in the attack and was taken to a hospital for treatment, Andrews said. Several officers at the scene sustained minor injuries and were treated by EMS at the scene.
Andrews said that the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the shooting, as is standard procedure with officer-involved shootings. The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave with pay.
The investigation is in its early stages and the chief said it’s not known at this time how many shots were fired by officers or where the suspect was struck by the gunfire.
The suspect’s identity will be released once their next-of-kin has been notified.
People in the neighborhood were saddened to hear about the deadly shooting in the gas station.
Steven Dieball said he had stopped for gas on his way to a doctor’s appointment and noticed the tape surrounding the Circle K gas station.
“I’m saddened to hear that, it’s awful to hear someone having to take a life,” Dieball said. “I’m glad law-enforcement is here protecting us, I’m praying for everyone who has been affected by that.”
Deirdre, a woman who didn’t want to give her name, said she is also thankful that authorities were there.
“I’m glad they were there, I’m glad they were there, absolutely,” she said. “I don’t know what we would do without them.”
This is the third officer-involved shooting in the area since Sunday.
An off-duty Cumberland County deputy shot and killed a man on Sunday during an altercation, police said.
On Tuesday, Raleigh police said an officer shot a man armed with a knife following a multi-vehicle collision on Interstate 440.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.