A 60-year-old man was shot Friday night by a Winston-Salem police officer during a traffic stop, police said. He later died at the scene.
Edward Van McCrae, 60, was in the backseat of a car when Officer D.E. McGuire initiated a traffic stop in the 2200 block of Bowen Boulevard at 10:34 p.m. during routine patrol, according to the Winston-Salem Police Department.
McCrae was moving suspiciously and reaching toward concealed areas of the vehicle, police said. McGuire issued multiple verbal commands telling McCrae to stop and requested emergency police backup.
McGuire ordered McCrae to get out of the car, which was also occupied by another male and female, who weren’t named in information released by police.
“After being removed from the vehicle, Mr. McCrae physically struggled with Officer McGuire and refused multiple verbal commands by Officer McGuire to ‘stop reaching,’” police said in a news release.
As the struggle continued, a handgun became visible to McGuire, police said.
“Officer McGuire issued multiple verbal commands to Mr. McCrae ordering him not to reach for the gun,” police said.
McGuire discharged his service weapon, incapacitating McCrae, police said.
Other officers arrived at the scene within seconds and rendered CPR on McCrae at 10:40 p.m., but were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead at the scene in the residential area near Ashley Elementary School, police said.
Radio communication between the officer and a dispatcher gave an account of what transpired on Friday night from the car being pulled over to backup arriving on the scene.
An officer told the dispatcher he’s conducting a license check. Shortly after, he can be heard yelling a word. The dispatcher asks for a “radio check” twice before the officer responds urgently: “Shots fired, shots fired.”
“Shots fired, shots fired,” the dispatcher repeated.
Backup is dispatched and after a pause, the officer said, “I got one suspect down, two in the car,” according to the radio transmission.
“Is the gunshot wound officer or suspect?” the dispatcher asked.
“Suspect down, officer’s 10/4” is the response.
McGuire received minor abrasions during the altercation with McCrae, and the other occupants of the vehicle were not injured during the incident.
Police described the initial traffic stop on the vehicle as routine. Police wouldn’t say what necessitated the traffic stop or identify the driver of the car or the other passengers.
Police declined on Saturday to release any other details.
“Obviously, it’s a concerning situation. We worked on something similar two years ago with the minister’s conference and the NAACP, asking the community to stay calm and give the SBI time to investigate,” Mayor Allen Joines said. “We’re pledging full transparency with this investigation.”
The mayor, along with city councilmen and Police Chief Catrina Thompson, will hold a press conference Monday at 11 a.m. at the NAACP office on Oak Ridge Drive.
The State Bureau of Investigation responded to the scene and will investigate the officer-involved shooting.
“We intentionally don’t investigate our own incidents,” Assistant Chief Wilson Weaver said. “It’s inappropriate for us to do so.”
The Winston-Salem Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division also responded to the scene and will investigate the assault on the officer, police said. An administrative investigation will be conducted by the Winston-Salem Police Department’s Professional Standards Division.
McGuire began employment with the Winston-Salem Police in August 2015 and is currently assigned as a patrol officer in the Field Services Bureau.
Following standard procedure, McGuire has been placed on administrative duty until the investigations are complete.
Anyone with information regarding this incident can contact the Winston-Salem Police Department at (336)773-7700 or Crime Stoppers at (336)727-2800.