GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — The Guilford County district attorney released new details on Wednesday about a fatal shooting in the Greensboro Police Department parking lot almost one year ago.
An exterior video camera shows Christopher Moore, 41, walking onto the employee parking lot of the Greensboro Police Department around 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 27, 2021.
After using an accelerant to set a marked patrol vehicle on fire, police say Moore attacked Officer J.M. Chavez who was walking inside the building, according to a statement released by District Attorney Avery Crump.
Moore hit Chavez multiple times in the face and head before putting his arms around the officer’s neck to choke him. During the struggle, Moore yelled an obscenity at the officer and tried to get control of his service weapon.
Chavez managed to draw his gun and fire at close range, believing that he hit Moore in the chest before his gun jammed.
Moore continued to assault the officer as Officer Brooks arrived. Chavez shouted to Brooks to shoot Moore while he was on top of him. Chavez heard more gunshots as Moore fell off him. He said he believed Moore was trying to kill him when he shot him.
Officers Brooks and Dellinger, who were in the immediate area, responded to aid Chavez during the assault and fired their service weapons as well. Brooks was initially inside the building but came outside when he heard gunshots and someone shouting for help.
Brooks saw Chavez on his back and who was later identified as Moore on top of him, assaulting him. Chavez had a gun in his hand, and his face appeared bloodied.
Brooks fired his service weapon at Moore as Chavez yelled for him to shoot.
Dellinger had just arrived and was getting out of his patrol car when he heard the gunshots and shouting.
Like Brooks, he quickly approached and saw Chavez on the ground being attacked by Moore.
Dellinger saw them fighting for a handgun. He fired his service weapon when he saw Moore trying to pull the gun from Chavez.
Dellinger said he believed Moore was going to kill Chavez when he fired. Dellinger pulled Moore off Chavez and began rendering medical aid to Moore.
Additional officers responded to the scene, and the fire was put out. Accelerants were recovered next to the burnt police car.
Moore succumbed to his gunshot wounds. Chavez was taken to Moses Cone Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released for assault injuries.
Additional witnesses who were able to see all or part of what happened were interviewed and corroborated the account provided by the officers involved. The investigation did reveal some evidence of mental health concerns relating to Moore.
Court documents show Moore assaulted two Greensboro officers back in 2015.
A mental health evaluation in court records states Moore was hospitalized three times previously for psychiatric stabilization and that he was at a high risk of reoffending.
Mental health treatment was ordered as part of his sentence.
District Attorney Crump says that based upon her review of the facts of the case, each of Officers Chavez, Brooks and Dellinger’s use of deadly force under these circumstances was clearly justified by both the common law principle of self-defense and defense of another and by the statutory provisions of N.C.G.S. 15A-401(d)(2), which permits the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer to defend himself or another from what he reasonably believes to be the imminent use of deadly force.
From the moment Chavez was attacked unprovoked and thrown to the ground in a struggle for his gun, each of the officers were entirely justified in attempting to end a real and immediate deadly confrontation, the district attorney says.