Officers cleared in Forlines Road shooting - WNCT

Officers cleared in Forlines Road shooting

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Three officers involved in a December shooting on Forlines Road have been cleared to return to duty by the State Bureau of Investigation.

It happened December 22 around 6:30 p.m. after the officers responded to a report of a suicidal man at the Vineyard Townhomes off Forlines Road. 24 year old James Lewis Brown died in the incident after officers shot him.

Police say they spotted Brown walking along the road, less than a mile away from the townhome complex. When the officer attempted to check on him, Brown pointed a gun at them. Fearing for their safety, the officers fired on him.

“While these officers have been cleared to return to full duty, we will not return them to street duties until they have received the proper counseling and care required after a traumatic incident of this magnitude,” said Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden.

Kelsey Johnson was driving home right as the incident unfolded. She says she was behind two police cars, when they turned on their lights.

"As soon as I got behind them they turned their lights on, jumped out of the car ,and went up to the bridge and were chasing it looked like two or three people to me," said Kelsey, " I heard a little bit of yelling and then I heard the taser go off. Then after that I saw another suspect I guess running and then I heard shots fired, like four or five shots fired. It was too dark to tell if the police shooting or if it was the suspect shooting."  

Unfortunately, Johnson couldn't get away because cops had blocked off the road in both directions.

"It was scary. I mean it was like 10 feet in front of me. It wasn't as bad when the taser went off, but when I heard the shots that was pretty scary," said Johnson.

First responders took Brown to Vidant Medical Center, where he later died.

The officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave after the incident. They're identified as Advanced Patrol Officer A.C. Pool, 4 years of service with GPD, Advanced Patrol Officer S.N. Cates— 6 years of service with GPD, and Advanced Patrol Officer A.K. Leggett, 7 years of service with GPD.

Aden released the following statement immediately following the incident, "Officers respond to many difficult and dangerous situations every day; none are more dangerous than when they encounter armed subjects who confront officers with those weapons.  My thoughts and prayers are with the officers involved in this incident as well as with the family of the deceased."

According to Brown's facebook page, he was from Greensboro, but lived in Greenville. He says he went to Pitt Community College and started his own entertainment company.

On Monday, a woman listed on his page as his sister wrote this on her timeline: "Our baby brother passed away last night at age 25. We are now free from worry to know if he was safe and he is no longer in pain. Please keep our family in your prayers."
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