Crowd protests downtown and at chief’s home after man shot by Raleigh police

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – An armed man was wounded in a police-involved shooting in east Raleigh early Tuesday evening, spurring an agitated crowd to travel to the Raleigh police chief’s home to seek answers.

A large crowd later appeared in downtown Raleigh and marched through various streets, blocking the roads and continuing to chant well into Wednesday morning. A U.S. flag was taken from the Executive Mansion by protesters and later burned in the street.

NEW: 911 caller reports armed man prior to Raleigh police shooting, says another man threatened him

The shooting incident was first reported as a man with a gun around 6:45 p.m. in the 1000 block of North Rogers Lane near Rogers Farm Drive, which is an area just off New Bern Avenue, according to Raleigh police.

“When officers arrived at the scene, they observed an individual who matched the description given by the 911 caller,” a police news release said.

As police arrived, the man ran and he was chased by police. During the chase, police ordered the man to drop his gun, according to the news release.

“During the chase, (the suspect) was shot one time by a responding officer,” the news release said.

Police later said Javier Torres, 26, who was shot, was taken to WakeMed for treatment. A gun was found nearby, police said.

A large agitated crowd at the scene demanded answers from police, who did not release significant information until four hours after the shooting.

A business owner near the scene told CBS 17 he heard multiple gunshots in the area off New Bern Avenue. A Sheetz gas station and Dairy Queen are located at the intersection of North Rogers Lane at New Bern Avenue.

This is the same shopping center where Soheil Mojarrad was fatally shot by police last year on April 20.

Many people in a large crowd at the scene were very upset — already calling for answers from police about what happened. One person in the crowd spoke out about the shooting to CBS 17.

“We need immediate and swift transparency regarding this incident because the community has a right to know and needs to know what’s going on,” said Kerwin Pittman.

Some in the crowd at the scene later left, saying they were going to the home of Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown. By 10:30 p.m., throngs of people were in front of her home and an officer was standing in front of the chief’s house.

By about 11:30 p.m., a large crowd appeared in downtown Raleigh in the 300 block of Fayetteville Street. The group then marched through downtown to the State Capitol building early Wednesday morning.

During the march, the group — with some carrying signs — chanted “Whose streets? Our streets!” and blocked Salisbury Street at the State Capitol. Many police units were nearby during the demonstration.

Just before 1 a.m. Wednesday, the group marched along Blount Street and took the flag from the Governor’s Mansion. The U.S. flag was later burned in the street as protesters held a photo of Akiel Denkins. Denkins was shot and killed by a Raleigh police officer in February 2016.

Police released very little information about the incident until about 10:40 p.m. Tuesday.

Police said the officer who fired a weapon was wearing a video camera and it was turned on during the incident. Other officers also had their body-worn cameras on at the time, police said.

Police said that they would seek to have the video released.

“As is standard protocol, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation will conduct an investigation of the officer-involved shooting,” police said.

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