Wife of man fatally shot by Durham police says he threatened to kill her and himself

Hours before Shaun Christy was fatally shot by Durham police Wednesday night, his wife took out a domestic violence protective order in Orange County, saying she feared for her life.

In the court documents, Jennifer Christy says there was a history of domestic violence between the couple and that he threatened to kill her and himself.

She described an incident that happened at a Budget Inn in Durham where Shaun Christy caused her to “hit my head on the floor so hard it split open.” Then he punched her, she said.

In another incident, Jennifer Christy said he hit her twice in the face and then packed her and her belongings in a car and drove them to the Walmart at New Hope Commons. She said he told her that he would “strangle the life outta me if he ever saw me again.” Her statement did not say when this incident occurred.

Jennifer Christy also said he wrapped a shoestring around her cat’s neck and threatened to hang it in a tree.

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The order also prohibited Shaun Christy from possessing a firearm. But as a convicted felon, he likely was in violation of the law when confronted by Durham police at New Hope Commons shopping center off U.S. 15-501.

Durham police spokesman Wil Glenn said Christy displayed a handgun and pointed at the responding officers, which caused them to fire their weapons.

Officers performed CPR before he was taken to a local hospital, where he died, police said in a news release.

Durham police were alerted by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office that Christy might be in the area of New Hope Commons and was armed and potentially suicidal. Shaun Christy’s parents sought to have an involuntary commitment order served on him, too.

Christy was convicted in 2010 of three felony charges arising from offenses committed in 2007. He was incarcerated from May 26, 2011, to Nov. 10, 2011, for possession with intent to sell a controlled substance, selling a controlled substance and maintaining a place for the use of a controlled substance.

He also was convicted of possession with intent to sell or distribute a counterfeit controlled substance in 2010 in connection with a 2006 incident.

Christy was ordered to stay 1,000 feet away from his wife at all times, including her residence, her car and her place of work, according to the protective order, which was never served because he could not be found before the shooting. Efforts to reach Jennifer Christy were unsuccessful.

Christy’s death marks the third time since 2013 that Durham police have fatally shot a man who was reported appearing to be suicidal.

No new details have been released by Durham police.