A man fatally shot by Durham police last week pointed a gun at his head and yelled “shoot me” before turning the weapon on the officers, according to a report released today by the Durham Police Department.
The shooting happened Wednesday evening in the parking lot of the New Hope Commons Shopping Center, where officers found Shaun Jeffery Christy after receiving a report from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office that Christy was suicidal.
According to the department’s five-day report, Orange County first contacted Durham around three p.m., saying the thirty-seven-year-old Christy was threatening to commit suicide, but an officer was unable to locate him. Between five and six p.m., two of Christy’s friends contacted the Durham Emergency Communications Center, saying he had been distraught over a situation with his wife. Soon after, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office obtained involuntary commitment papers for Christy — which it handed over to the Durham Police Department around seven p.m. — and notified Durham officials that he “should be considered armed and dangerous,” according to the report.
Orange County officials also told the Durham Police Department that Christy had been calling the Orange County Emergency Communications center “‘all day’ in an attempt to speak to his significant other who was incarcerated so ‘she could hear the gunshot when he killed himself’,” the report says.
Officers continued to search for Christy throughout the evening and were led to New Hope Commons when a vehicle matching the description of his truck was spotted. They found Christy in the parking lot in front of Best Buy just after eight p.m.
“Officers attempted to communicate with Christy by name as he pointed an object towards the officer and ran in the direction of the Ashley Home Store,” the report reads. “Officers then recognized that Christy had a firearm in one of his hands.”
Christy started “pacing erratically with the firearm pointed to his head, repeatedly shouting ‘shoot me, shoot me’” and officers asked him to put the gun down. Christy suddenly pointed his gun at the officers and Corporal B.M. Glover and Officer G.F. Paschall fired their weapons. The two officers have been placed on administrative leave.
Officers administered CPR and Christy was taken to Duke Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
As is standard procedure, the State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting, and the Durham Police Department is conducting an administrative investigation.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.