RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Raleigh Police fired 30 rounds during the fatal shooting of a man who they say burned two patrol cars by throwing Molotov cocktails at them outside a police station.
The city released its five-day report Friday after the attack and shooting on May 7, breaking down the six minutes that elapsed between when officers first arrived and when they fired their weapons.
Officials previously said the time between when officers first arrived to when they fired their weapons was 16 minutes. However, a correction was issued to the timeline stating it was roughly six minutes between the events.
The report describes in great detail the events that led to police fatally shooting Reuel Rodriguez Nunez, 37, at the department’s Southeast District Station at 2800 Rock Quarry Road.
According to the report, Nunez set the two patrol cars on fire before removing a gas can and an unknown container from the passenger’s area of his van, placed several white cups on the ground in the parking lot, poured liquid in them and sat in the rear area of his van with the back door open.
The report says Nunez threw three cups containing the unidentified liquid at the vehicle driven by Lt. M.F. Schabel, then threw a Molotov cocktail at Schabel’s vehicle — which the lieutenant backed away from the scene.
Three officers asked Nunez to stop but he threw “flaming liquid” at Schabel’s vehicle and the officers backed away, according to the report.
The report says Nunez was heard telling the officers that “Today … is my day … to … move on,” and threw another Molotov cocktail at the officers while advancing toward them.
Four officers then slowly approached him, and the report says Master Officer P.W. Coates told Nunez repeatedly, “Go ahead (expletive), do it, do it” and asked other officers to “give me the go ahead.”
When Nunez lit another Molotov cocktail and began to throw it in Coates’ direction, all four officers fired. The burning liquid hit the ground where Coates was standing and missed him only because he moved out of the way, the report said.
Preliminary results indicated 30 rounds were fired, and about 16 minutes elapsed from Schabel’s arrival until the officers fired.
Afterward, detectives determined that Nunez’s van and his physical description matched those of someone who tried to set fire to gas pumps the previous night at a convenience store on Capital Blvd.
The four officers have been placed on administrative duty, in compliance with department policy.
Court documents show while Rodriguez Nunez also used bodily matter to assault an officer in 2020 and, while in jail, he threw a milk container with human feces on two detention officers. And later, he was deemed unfit to stand trial.
However, an evaluation from August 2021 show that he was competent.
Rodriguez Nunez also had previous drug, DWI, and misdemeanor child abuse charges.