A chase, a deputy-involved fatal shooting in Clemmons and a woman's body found in her Winston-Salem home are all connected, according to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and Winston-Salem Police Department.
On Tuesday, just after midnight, Winston-Salem police reported 46-year-old Toni Renee Handy was missing, saying she might be travelling with a male companion. Handy had last been seen Friday at the Murphy Express gas station on Oxford Station Way, where she worked, police said.
Tuesday evening, investigators with the Winston-Salem Police Department found Handy's dead body in her home. The case is being investigated as a homicide, said the Winston-Salem Police Department.
Around 1:50 p.m. Tuesday, a deputy on patrol in Clemmons saw what was believed to be Handy’s truck near the intersection of Clemmons and Hampton roads, according to the sheriff’s office. The deputy ran the truck’s tags and tried to pull the driver over.
The driver didn’t stop and led deputies on an approximately one-mile chase through the area, including the parking lot of the Lowes Foods in Clemmons, Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough said,
The driver of the truck, later identified as 45-year-old Christopher Joel Mock, went through the Lowes parking lot, hopped the curb and crashed into another truck at the shopping- center entrance.
Deputies approached Mock, and the shooting began, Kimbrough said. The deputies shot Mock, and first responders took him to the hospital in an ambulance. Medical personnel declared Mock dead in the ambulance, then were able to revive him at the hospital, Kimbrough said. Mock went into emergency surgery, and later died at the hospital.
Tuesday’s deputy-involved shooting is the county’s first since 2008. The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting to determine if the use of force was lawful. The SBI investigates all officer-involved shootings in the state.
It’s not clear who shot first or if Mock shot at all. Sheriff’s Office Public Affairs Officer Christina Howell said that would be officially determined after the investigation. All deputies involved — the sheriff's office didn't specify how many — are on administrative leave until the SBI's investigation is complete.
Howell said deputies found a gun at the scene.
The truck had multiple bullet holes in it, and both windows on the driver’s side appeared to be shot out.
At least five shell casings could be seen in the road.
In total, four other vehicles were damaged in Mocks’ crash, and one person went to the hospital with undisclosed injuries.
As sheriff's deputies dealt with the scene in Clemmons, forensic services and detectives with the police department’s Criminal Investigations Division executed a search warrant on Handy’s home, 4502 Kimball Lane, where she lived with Mock, according to police.
Investigators who found her body were following up on evidence related to Handy’s disappearance, Winston-Salem police officer Lt. Gregory Dorn said.
Handy's is the fifth homicide in Winston-Salem this year, compared to three in the same period in 2019.
Authorities ask that anyone with information regarding the investigation contact the Winston-Salem Police Department at (336) 773-7700 or CrimeStoppers at (336) 727-2800. CrimeStoppers may also be contacted via Crime Stoppers of Winston Salem Forsyth County on Facebook.