One man dead after firing at officers; officers fire back
UPDATE: Police have identified the man who they say fired at officers this morning as Ferguson Claude Laurent Jr., 22. The officer who fired back at Laurent was Karl Boehm, a member of the Special Response Team. Boehm has been with the police department since 2008.
Police Chief Jerry Stokes said during an afternoon press conference that one shot was fired at two officers who entered a room inside the mobile home.
Stokes said according to early information, the officer returned fire, twice.
“First of all, let me say. My thoughts and prayers and the entire department and the city’s thoughts and prayers are with this family. It’s a very tragic situation for the family and the officer. He certainly didn’t go there today for this hoping or anticipating this would happen and it is truly a tragic situation,” Stokes said.
Stokes said Boehm had been involved in a shooting in 2010 and following an investigation it was deemed a justified shooting. The officer has one disciplinary action on his record, which was a suspension related to a driving infraction.
Boehm has been placed on leave, as is protocol, until the internal police investigation and SBI investigation are complete, city officials said.
Laurent’s family friend, Mya Miller, said the family is from the Virgin Islands. Miller said Laurent had only lived in the area for about two years. Miller, who also lives in the neighborhood, said she heard about the incident from a cousin.
Miller walked to the scene in tears and even collapsed to the ground at one point. She said she didn’t understand what happened or why.
Laurent was known by the nickname Bigz.
The shooting occurred at 9:25 a.m. at 625 of E Lafayette St., according to police. It started when police were attempting to serve a “no-knock” search warrant, according to a news release from police. A person inside the home fired at police and officers returned fire, the news release stated.
After being taken to a nearby hospital, the person died, police said.
Members of the Salisbury Police Department Special Response Team served the warrant because suspects in the home were known to be armed, the news release said. The special response team includes narcotic detectives.
The warrant was used to search for narcotics, weapons and stolen property.
Salisbury Fire Department medics, who are members of the Special Response Team, provided medical attention to the unnamed victim immediately following the shooting.
The Salisbury Police Department said more information will be made available.
The State Bureau of Investigation is leading the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
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