Man shot by police in Winston-Salem released from hospital

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James Edward Plater III

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — One of the men shot by two police officers last week in Winston-Salem has been released from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Police said Friday that James Edward Plater III, 32, was placed in the custody of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department.

The suspect has been charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a government official.

Officers Brady Ferguson and Brian Ayers shot Plater and Aonta De’Vaux Ruth, also 32, around 12:24 a.m. Friday after authorities said Ferguson tried to stop Plater at North Liberty and 16th streets.

Assistant Police Chief Connie Southern said Thursday that Ferguson had tried to stop Plater for having an expired registration and expired inspection. She said Plater sped away and that Ferguson stopped Plater again at North Liberty and East 16th streets.

Southern said Ferguson got out of the car with his gun drawn and gave certain commands to Plater, who she said ignored them. Plater’s car hit Ferguson in the left knee and then hit the left rear bumper of Ferguson’s patrol car as it sped away, Southern said.

That’s when Ferguson fired his gun, she said.

Plater drove his car through a parking lot, striking a parked car, then crashed through a chain link fence. Southern said Plater’s car continued east through the parking lot of the Citgo gas station at 1522 North Liberty St. The car then crossed North Liberty Street, striking a utility pole guide wire and metal post.

The car then headed into the parking lot south of Gilmore’s Funeral Home. Southern said that Plater steered his car toward Ayers, who was responding on foot to assist Ferguson. Ayers fired at the car, which Southern said was going at a high rate of speed. Plater then veered the car away from Ayers and hit the south side of Gilmore’s Funeral Home.

Ferguson and Ayers remain on administrative leave, pending an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation, which is routine in shootings involving officers. The Winston-Salem Police Department is also continuing its investigation into the traffic stop.

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