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Thomasville officers cleared in fatal shooting

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THOMASVILLE, N.C. — Four Thomasville officers involved in a fatal shooting last year have been allowed to return to work after their actions were determined to be justifiable.

On Oct. 15, officers responded to a home on Noah’s Trail after receiving reports of gunshots and a man threatening to harm himself.

After responding to the scene, officers say they attempted to make contact with the suspect, Scott William Muntz, 41, when he fired multiple shots from inside the home.

A short time later, Muntz opened the door and an officer noticed a pistol in Muntz’s hand. Muntz walked down the stairs and into the yard. After repeated commands from officers for Muntz to drop his weapon and show his hands, he aimed the loaded gun at officers, according to police.

Officers fired their weapons, striking Muntz once. He was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center where he later died.

On Wednesday, Thomasville Police announced Davidson County District Attorney Garry Frank has ruled the shooting was justifiable.

The four officers involved in the incident were placed on administrative leave with pay after the shooting. Officers Jamie McClanathan, Brandon Merrill, Derek Phillips, and Joshua Wolfe have returned to full-duty after being cleared by both the District Attorney and an administrative review by the Thomasville Police Department.

The incident was investigated by the N.C. SBI and the case was thoroughly reviewed by the District Attorney.

Chief Insley released this statement:

“It’s an incident that all police officers pray they will never have to go through during their entire career.  If an officer uses force and there is a loss of life, it is imperative that the incident is investigated and receive a comprehensive review by an independent source.  I’d like to thank the NC State Bureau of Investigation and District Attorney Garry Frank’s Office for a complete investigation, review and decision.” 

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