Man killed by Durham police pointed gun at officers and shouted ‘Shoot me!’ report says

Durham police released a preliminary report on a fatal officer-involved shooting that at New Hope Commons shopping center Aug. 8 2018.
Durham police released a preliminary report on a fatal officer-involved shooting that at New Hope Commons shopping center Aug. 8 2018. File photo

A man fatally shot by Durham police last week shouted at officers “Shoot me! Shoot me!” and thrust a gun at two officers before he was killed, according to a Durham Police Department report released Monday.

“The two officers responded by firing their weapons towards [Shaun Jeffery] Christy, who subsequently fell to the ground,” states the report from Police Chief C.J. Davis to City Manager Tom Bonfield.

Officers performed CPR on Christy, 37, who was later pronounced dead at Duke University Hospital.

The report says Durham officials received calls from two of Christy’s friends and Orange County officials concerned about his behavior.

According to Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood, an involuntary commitment order was obtained by Orange County officials at 2:28 p.m. Wednesday, the day of the shooting.

Blackwood said Christy called the Compass Center for Women and Families in Chapel Hill around mid-day Wednesday and threatened to kill himself and his wife, Jennifer Christy, who had been jail since Tuesday night. Shaun Christy also called a crisis hotline, Blackwood said.

The Compass Center then reached out to the Sheriff’s Office. Blackwood said deputies knew the Christys because the office had been dealing with the couple’s domestic violence issues for three years.

But “not to this degree,” Blackwood said.

Jennifer Christy took out a domestic violence protection order against her husband at 2:15 p.m. Wednesday when she was told Christy had threatened to kill himself and her, Blackwood said.

She had been booked in the Orange County jail at 10:24 p.m. Tuesday for misdemeanor probation violation, Blackwood wrote in a text.

Suicide threat

Around 3:06 p.m. Wednesday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office contacted Durham Emergency Communications Center and said Christy was threatening to commit suicide by firearm, the Durham police report said. A Durham officer responded to the location provided but didn’t find him.

Around 5:23 p.m. the Communications Center received a call from a friend who said Shaun Christy was distraught over a domestic situation.

At 5:59 p.m. another friend contacted the center and “reiterated concerns about Christy’s domestic situation, and that he had a history of suicidal attempts.”

More information was obtained about his possible location, but he still wasn’t found, according to the report.

Around 6:17 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office notified Durham police that it had obtained involuntary commitment papers on Christy, and that he might have a gun “and should be considered armed and dangerous,” the report said.

At 6:35 p.m. a Durham Police Department supervisor contacted the Communications Center about receiving the commitment papers, and Orange County advised that “Christy has been calling them ‘all day’ in an attempt to speak to his significant other” incarcerated in the jail, ‘so she could hear the gunshot when he killed himself,’” the report said.

‘Put the gun down’

Multiple officers continued to search for Christy, and located a vehicle matching the description of his truck in the parking lot of the New Hope Commons Shopping Center, the report states.

Officers encountered Christy around 8:10 a.m. in the parking lot near Best Buy and tried to talk with him.

“He pointed an object towards the officers and ran in the direction of Ashley Home Store,” the report said. “Officers than recognized that Christy had a firearm in one of his hands.”

“Christy began pacing erratically with the firearm pointed to his head, repeatedly shouting ‘shoot me, shoot me (expletive),” the report said.

Officers responded by saying, ‘Shaun, put the gun down,” but he continued pacing, the report said.

When he thrust the gun in their direction, the officers fired, fatally shooting him, the report continued.

Two Durham police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in an officer-involved incident. Cpl. B.M. Glover joined the Durham Police Department in January 2006 and Officer G.F. Paschall joined the department in February 2015.

The Durham Police Department has asked the State Bureau of Investigations to conduct an independent investigation, which is standard procedure.

Virginia Bridges: 919-829-8924, @virginiabridges
Related stories from Durham Herald Sun