Rape suspect shot by Newton Grove police chief identified as Clinton man

Local News

NEWTON GROVE, N.C. (WNCN) – The rape suspect who was shot by the Newton Grove police chief on Tuesday has been identified.

The SBI said Michael Almer Rich, 48, was shot during a confrontation with Chief Gregory Warren while the chief responded to a rape and kidnapping call.

Michael Almer Rich (SCSO)
Newton Grove Police Chief Gregory Warren.

Witnesses said they saw the chief and suspect scuffle briefly near gas pumps in the traffic circle at the center of town before there were shots fired.

“It was a horrible escalation of things. However, we just want to know the actual details, and that justice was served, and that the right steps were taken,” said Francisco Benitez, who owns Munchies Kitchen next to where it took place.

The incident started at the Dollar General nearby.

An employee there said the man came in and that a woman he was with outside waived down a customer.

The employee said the woman told that customer she was being held against her will and that the man was armed. 

Three people make up the small Sampson County town’s police department.

Both the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office and SBI are investigating.

Officials said the victim involved in the kidnapping report is OK.

Rich was listed in fair condition, as of Thursday morning.

The incident leaves the Newton Grove Police Department with just two officers.

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