Man fatally shot by Durham police had punched officer in the face, report says
The man who was fatally shot by Durham police last month struck an officer in the face and tried to take the officer’s weapon during a struggle in the moments before he was killed, according to the five-day report of the incident released Thursday by the city.
Ondrae Levado Hutchinson, 30, was combative when officers arrived at his home at 9 Bevel Court shortly before 5:30 a.m. on March 30, according to the city’s preliminary report of the incident.
The fatal shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute at the home where the woman lived.
She is described in the report as the mother of Hutchinson’s child, and had called 911 to report that Hutchinson was damaging property inside the residence.
When Durham police Officers J.W. Lanier and E.I. Masnik arrived, Hutchinson was in the street but he followed Lanier into the home’s garage, where the woman was standing with her child.
The officers tried to place the man in handcuffs, but a struggle ensued with Officer Lanier, who was punched in the face while grappling with Hutchinson, according to the report.
Masnik used a stun gun on Hutchinson, but it was ineffective on the suspect, according to the report.
A third officer who arrived on the scene, R.E. Jimenez, fatally shot Hutchinson after he refused orders to let go of the other officer’s weapon.
Hutchinson was rushed for medical care to Duke University Medical Center, where he died, according to authorities.
All of the officers have been placed on administrative leave with pay as the State Bureau of Investigation and the police department investigate the incident, a routine response when officers discharge their weapon.
According to the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, more officers were shot and killed responding to domestic violence calls in 2017 than during any other type of call.
Groups who work with domestic violence victims say these calls are dangerous for everyone, including police.
“I think they’re extremely dangerous mostly because the scene is so unpredictable. Oftentimes officers don’t know what type of situation they’re walking into,” said Tanisha Towe, an advocate with the Durham Crisis Response Center.
Towe says calls like the one on Bevel Court can quickly turn deadly.