GREENSBORO, N.C. – Greensboro police and State Bureau of Investigation continue to investigate what happened after a vehicle stop Friday afternoon left one person dead and one officer wounded.
The incident involved two Greensboro police officers assigned to the Police Neighborhood Resource Center and two people inside a red sedan that officers tried pulling over at about 4 p.m.
Officer J.R. LaBarre and Officer L.S. Garrison were patrolling the area in response to a tip about drug activity in the area.
Both officers first saw the vehicle at a convenience store at the outskirts of the Hickory Trails neighborhood, Greensboro police said in a press release.
When the officers tried to stop the red Chevy Impala, the driver initially refused to stop, according to police.
The officers followed, with Garrison driving and LaBarre in the passenger seat. Several blocks away, the officers called for backup, and the driver pulled over on the 4200 block of Romaine Street at about 4:30 p.m.
Both the passenger in the Impala and LaBarre got out of their vehicles before they came to a full stop, and a short foot chase started.
Police said LaBarre caught the fleeing suspect, identified as Carlos Keith Blackman, and a brief, yet violent struggle ensued.
Audio and partial video from the officer’s body worn camera, which was dislodged during the struggle, suggests that the officer had Blackman on the ground and was trying to handcuff him when Blackman assaulted the officer and escaped from his grasp, according to police.
At the same time, Garrison had placed the driver of the Impala in handcuffs and began to question him.
When she saw Blackman flee from her partner, she placed her suspect in the patrol car of an arriving officer and ran to help her fellow officer.
Audio from the LaBarre’s body worn camera captured the sound of several gunshots fired in rapid succession. Seconds afterwards, Garrison found her partner in an overgrown thicket, with a single gunshot wound to his upper torso.
Blackman once again fled; this time in the direction of a family member’s house on Alma Street where police found him suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He was taken by EMS to Moses Cone Hospital where he later died from his injuries.
As is standard procedure for a fatal officer-involved shooting, Greensboro police has requested the SBI conduct the follow-up investigation to establish whether or not the officer’s actions were justifiable under state law.
Although the sequence and number of shots fired has not yet been determined by the SBI, evidence collected at the crime scene indicates that at least one weapon, in addition to the officer’s weapon, was involved in the incident.
LaBarre was treated at Moses Cone Hospital and released early Saturday morning. He is scheduled to receive additional medical care in the near future.
“On behalf of the city of Greensboro, our prayers and well wishes go out to the officers and their families for a full and speedy recovery. In addition, we would also like to recognize that another family is grieving, and we send out our prayers and support to them as well,” said Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan.
Both officers will be placed on administrative duties as the investigations continue.
LaBarre also worked as a school resource officer at Mendenhall Middle School in Greensboro.
The last shooting of a Greensboro police officer was in 2009.