FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Fayetteville police have identified a man they say shot himself early Monday morning while he was placed in police custody. They say the suspect is hospitalized in critical condition.
Early Monday morning, officers with the Fayetteville Police Department responded to a shots fired notification from Shot Spotter in the 6900 block of Cliffdale Road.
After arriving, police saw a man, now identified as 29-year-old Lawrence Artis, walking through the empty parking lot. Officers made contact with the suspect and he was detained while an investigation was underway.
During the initial search of the Artis, police said they found a firearm. Fayetteville police say further investigation into the him revealed he was a convicted felon, which prohibits him from having a firearm.
While handcuffed with his hands behind his back, during a secondary search, police say the Artis was able to reach for another firearm concealed in his pocket and shot himself.
Police said the officers present began life saving measures and requested medical personnel to the scene. Artis was life-flighted to a hospital for treatment.
The officers involved have been identified as Officer Justin DeHaan, Officer Trent Folk, and Officer Ryan Hirschi.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation was contacted to conduct an investigation into the in-custody incident. All three officers are on administrative duty, pending the outcome of the investigation.
The Fayetteville Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit will conduct an internal investigation to ensure all departmental policies and procedures were followed during the incident.