On Friday evening, Jan. 14, an individual in the custody of the Durham Police Department was being medically evaluated in the emergency department at Duke University Hospital. While in a treatment room, the patient attacked and injured a Durham Police officer and during the ensuing struggle gained complete control of the Durham Police officer’s firearm.
A Duke Police Department officer immediately responded to the emergency call from healthcare staff. The Duke Police officer saw the armed patient with the loaded gun raised toward the Durham Police officer. The Duke Police officer fired his weapon and struck the patient.
The patient was critically injured and, despite intensive medical intervention by hospital trauma staff, later died from his injuries. The Durham police officer was treated for his injuries at the hospital, and no other patients or hospital staff members were physically injured.
The State Bureau of Investigation was immediately notified of the shooting by the Duke Police Department and has initiated an investigation. The results of the SBI investigation, which will include body camera footage review and witness interviews, will be given to the Durham County District Attorney’s Office.
The loss of life is tragic. We are grateful to the police officers from the Durham and Duke police departments for their quick and selfless action to prevent potential harm to others, and to the Duke health care professionals who immediately acted to protect the safety of their patients.