911 caller: Man shot by Raleigh police officer was veteran having ‘flashback’
The man wounded by a Raleigh police officer on Sunday morning is a military veteran who was having “a flashback,” according to a 911 caller.
Raleigh firefighters and paramedics responded to a medical call at 5210 Falls of Neuse Road, in the Quail Ridge Apartments complex, but were confronted by a man who threatened them, police said Sunday.
First responders with the Raleigh Fire Department reported a man with two guns and said they were backing off to wait for police.
“There’s a man in the corridor with a knife. He’s a vet. He’s having a flashback,” a caller reported to a 911 dispatcher after police had arrived.
“Sounds like he has a knife on him. Has possession of a handgun but it doesn’t sound like it’s on him,” police relayed over their radio channel.
When Officer C.T. Melochick got to the apartment complex, the man approached him with a gun in hand, police said.
Melochick took cover behind a patrol vehicle and ordered the man to drop the gun, police said. When he refused, Melochick fired one shot, striking him.
“Shots fired! Shots fired!” was heard over police radios about two minutes after the information of the man having a knife.
Police on Monday identified the man as 40-year-old Michael Anthony Hendricks Jr.
He was taken to WakeMed for treatment of a gunshot wound to the abdomen, but his condition was unknown Monday.
Hendricks was sentenced in February to three years on probation for forgery in Stokes County, and according to the state Department of Public Safety, he has been in violation of his probation.
Wake County EMS protocol calls for paramedics to put responding to a call on hold if their safety is at risk.
“The hostility can happen towards us. It has happened towards us,” EMS Assistant Chief Jeff Hammerstein said. “There are times when we get there and we’ve got to back out of that situation and wait for law enforcement to arrive and secure the scene so it’s safe for us to proceed in.”
“Mental illness is serious, and what’s really unfortunate is that a lot of police officers are put into this position where they don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Rick Armstrong, vice president of Teamsters Local 391, which represents Raleigh police officers. “It’s unpredictable.”
But Melochick has experience working with people having mental health issues, having spent nine years with EMS before joining the Raleigh Police Department a little over two years ago.
Melochick, who is assigned to the department’s Field Operations Division, has been placed on desk duty while the State Bureau of Investigation and the department review the shooting. Police are expected to release the preliminary findings of their investigation into the shooting by the end of the week.
Melochick’s body-worn camera recorded the incident, according to police, and the department is seeking a court order to release that video and what was recorded by his dashboard camera.
“What the camera will show, and from his statements, he’s done everything properly,” Armstrong said. “We believe it’s a valid and justifiable shooting. He followed all departmental policies and protocol, so we don’t think there will be any issues.”
The Raleigh Police Department recently changed its policy on body-worn cameras after an officer killed a man last month but didn’t have his body-cam on at the time.
Under the new policy, body cameras are always recording video without audio, even if an officer doesn’t manually activate it.