Videos capture moments leading up to deadly Sanford officer-involved shooting

Local News

SANFORD, N.C. (WNCN) — The SBI is heading up the investigation into a fatal officer-involved shooting in Sanford Tuesday afternoon.

CBS 17 obtained two videos that show the confrontation between the suspect and police and the moments leading up to the shooting. 

A mother and her adult daughter in the car pulled over. Both took their cell phones out and started filming. They asked that we not give their name or show their face out of fear of retaliation. 

“I was shocked,” the daughter said. “I was shocked. I was surprised that we actually witnessed something like that up close and personal,” her mother added.

It happened on Horner Boulevard in Sanford around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Police said the suspect, Ronald McCrary, 63, used a knife to rob a nearby Dollar Tree shortly before. Officers responded and found him in a field nearby. 

“One of them did try to mace him but, the mace came out and the guy backed up and then after that, it went downhill from there,” the mother said.

The video shows the suspect appear to approach one of the officers before being shot. 

The officer involved was identified as Samuel McLeod, 36. 

Sanford’s Mayor T. Chet Mann says McCrary had just been released from prison. He had mental health issues and was known to police. He called McLeod a good officer and said he was shaken up. 

“I just feel like its wrong. It could have been handled so much differently,” the daughter said.

“He’s got a knife and y’all got guns and he still got a knife toward you. Something is definitely wrong with him. That means he needs to get some help,” the mother said.

The mayor said he watched the video and believes the officers were using their training to de-escalate the situation.

The SBI will turn its findings over to the district attorney. McLeod is on administrative leave, as per departmental guidelines. 

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