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Police: No known motive in bank robbery, shooting

Suspect

Paul Jones III

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes said no motive has been determined at this time following a bank robbery and subsequent shooting of the lone suspect by police.

Stokes recounted the incidents that led up to the shooting of suspect Paul Jones III during a Friday afternoon press conference.

Jones, 25, who most recently had been living in Salisbury, but had a previous address of Pinyan Pine Lane in Charlotte, went into the Wells Fargo at West Jake Alexander Boulevard around 5 p.m.on Nov. 9.

“In my initial review of the information we have at this point, I am comfortable saying that all officers, including those who fired their weapons, acted with the utmost bravery and valor. They clearly saved other people’s lives yesterday. We don’t know what led Mr. Jones to commit these evil acts and we don’t know what else he could have done had the officers not been able to locate him fleeing the area,” Stokes said.

Police received information about an armed robbery at the bank at 5:04 p.m. and while en route, learned someone was shot inside the bank. Stokes said Jose Santiago, 61, of Salisbury, was shot in the face and remains in critical condition at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

He added that it was reported that shots were fired at Brenner Avenue during a carjacking where Larry Darnell Dalton Jr., 45, was thrown from his vehicle and shot in the head and arm. Dalton remains in stable condition, also at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Dalton was the only person in the 2015 Acura, which was taken by Jones.

“I would like to first say our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and family of the man shot at the bank yesterday, the victim and family of the man who was shot by the suspect during a related carjacking, and the family of the person the officers shot. There are many other victims, including our community as a whole, that were impacted. These three families and victims were most impacted by yesterday’s events and we keep them in our prayers,” Stokes said.

Stokes said an officer began to pursue the Acura beginning in the area of Lincolnton Road and South Fulton Street. As the officer pursued the suspect, they returned to the area of Jake Alexander Boulevard where the suspect crashed into two vehicles near the intersection of Jake Alexander Boulevard and Mooresville Road.

He said Jones fired a weapon at least once and officers defending themselves fired on the vehicle. Officers had approached the vehicle to arrest Jones when they were fired on.

There were three officers who discharged their firearms: Sgt. Michael Colvin, who is assigned as the supervisor of the narcotics detectives. Colvin has been with the Salisbury Police Department for 21 years. Officer Jay Basinger is a patrol officer and has been with the Salisbury Police Department for two and a half years. Officer Joseph Martinez is a K-9 officer assigned to patrol operations and has been with the Salisbury Police Department for four and a half years.

Stokes said a number of officers were wearing body cameras during the shooting and he has reviewed the footage, which together shows multiple viewpoints of the shooting.

The chief said Jones fired at least one shot at Officer Jay Basinger and the officer returned fire and sought cover. Both Sgt. Michael Colvin and Officer Joseph Martinez then engaged the suspect, who had not yet dropped the firearm, and fired at him.

Stokes confirmed that all of the officers fired more than one shot, but he didn’t know currently which officer may have struck Jones.

Immediately after, the officers removed Jones from the car andbegan to administer first aid. Jones was conscious for a time. Rowan EMS arrived on the scene almost immediately and took over efforts to save Jones, but their efforts proved fruitless, Stokes said.

No officer was injured in the exchange of gunfire.

Stokes said the SBI will conduct an investigation of the shooting by the officers. They will present their findings to the Rowan district attorney to determine if their actions were lawful. “Once that investigation is complete, we will review the matter internally to ensure all policy and procedures were followed and if there are any lessons to learn,” Stokes said.

As is common practice, the three officers who discharged their weapons have been placed on limited duty, meaning they are not in an enforcement capacity while the investigation continues.

“I am saddened by the events of yesterday. No officer wants to take a life and the violence has no doubt affected our community sense of safety,” Stokes said.

See more in Saturday’s Post.

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