Hickory Police Officers were involved in a fatal shooting early this morning.
The incident occurred at about 3:40 a.m. at the Kangaroo Express Store, 2853 North Center Street in Hickory. Officers were at the store on routine patrol when they recognized a man exiting the store as the same man they had seen while responding to a fight call the night before at McCroskey’s Irish Pub & Grill on 29th Avenue Drive N.E. Officers saw the man get into a City of Hickory work truck with heavy damage to the right side of the vehicle.
One of the Officers reported smelling alcohol on the man’s breath as they spoke to him while he was seated in the truck’s driver’s seat. As the Officer continued to speak to him, the man produced a pistol and pointed it at the Officer. The Officer retreated and he and another Officer fired multiple shots at the man. Officers again approached the truck and found the man deceased with the handgun still in his hand.
Police would say only that the deceased is from the area. His identity has not been released pending notification of family. The Officers’ names will not be released. The Officers have been placed on paid administrative leave, in keeping with standard procedure.
The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation was called in. Their investigation is ongoing, but Police say there was a spent shell casing in the deceased man’s gun and it appears his weapon jammed. H.P.D. will also conduct its own administrative investigation.
The incident at McCroskey’s occurred at about 10:24 Sunday night. A second fight call was received from the same location at about 12:52 a.m. today. It’s not clear if the deceased was directly involved in the fight, but he was present at the first incident. It’s not clear if he was still there when Police were called back to the bar.
Officers would later learn that the work truck had been reported stolen from the residence of a City of Hickory employee on Cloninger Mill Road N.E. The city employee’s personal vehicle was also broken into and items were stolen from within. Officers also learned that the damage to the city work truck was pre-existing.
Police in the area prior to the shooting were also investigating reports of a man on foot on Cloninger Mill Road at about 2:45 a.m.
Catawba Co. E.M.S. and the Hickory Fire Department also responded to the scene at the Kangaroo Express.