Man killed in shootout with law enforcement in Stanly County, authorities say
A man was killed after law enforcement officers returned his gunfire in Stanly County Thursday morning, investigators confirmed.
It happened around 1:45 a.m. along Highway 73 near Lowell Road outside of Albemarle. A sheriff’s deputy and a highway patrol officer were called to help a vehicle that was stuck in a ditch, deputies told Channel 9′s Hannah Goetz.
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The Stanly County Sheriff’s Office said the driver appeared to have a gun in his waistband. A highway patrol spokesperson said the trooper and deputy tried to take him into custody but he ran away, firing multiple shots at them.
The deputy and the trooper returned fire, highway patrol said, and the suspect was hit.
That individual died at the scene despite lifesaving measures, investigators said. Neither law enforcement officer was hurt in the incident.
“The trooper and the deputy are extremely lucky,” said Sheriff Jeff Crisco.
The victim was identified as Ghassan Radwan Baba, 22, of Albemarle.
The trooper involved was Trooper Micheal R. McCormick, highway patrol said. McCormick has been with the department for four years.
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No information about who the deputy is has been made available yet.
‘Holy crap, there is shooting going on’
Goetz went to the scene at noon Thursday and could still see investigators walking in and out of the area.
”I don’t know how many shots were shot but it was like fireworks,” said neighbor Gary Krause. “It was ‘bang bang bang bang bang bang.’”
He told Goetz he woke up to what he thought were fireworks going off behind his house off Highway 73.
“‘What the heck is going on’ then, ‘oh heck, something’s not right’ then, ‘holy crap, there is shooting going on,’” Krause said.
Per standard protocol, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is investigating. McCormick has been placed on administrative leave, which is also standard protocol for a trooper-involved shooting. Channel 9 is waiting for word on the deputy’s employment status. We have also reached out to the SBI to learn more information.
Baba had no criminal history besides traffic violations, so Goetz asked if there’s a reason he might have been shooting at the officers.
“I haven’t been told of any and to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure if we’ll ever know,” Sheriff Crisco said.
This is a developing story. Check back for details.
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