Hickory Police Officers Clay Albrecht and John Ray have been cleared of any criminal misconduct in connection to an Officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of 21-year-old Drew Marian Spencer of Taylorsville. The decision came after District Attorney Jay Gaither’s Office reviewed an investigative report from the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation.
A statement released today (August 13) by H.P.D. said the District Attorney’s office considered the events and circumstances surrounding Mr. Spencer’s detainment, statements by non-law enforcement witnesses, Officer interviews and surveillance footage of the incident. H.P.D.’s administrative investigation concurs with the District Attorney in finding that Officers acted in a manner that was appropriate and consistent with their training, agency policy and state law.
The shooting occurred early on the morning of June 2 in the parking lot at the Kangaroo Express store, 2853 North Center Street in Hickory. The Officers were questioning the driver of a City of Hickory work truck who had pulled into the business. The truck was heavily damaged on the right side. The Officers recognized the suspect as Drew Spencer from a fight call a few hours earlier at McCroskey’s Irish Pub & Grill in Hickory.
While speaking to Mr. Spencer, who remained in the driver’s seat, the suspect pointed a handgun at the Officer. As the Officer retreated, he and another Officer fired at Spencer. A handgun was in the suspect’s hand when the Officers re-approached the vehicle after the shooting. One spent shell casing was located in Spencer’s weapon. The weapon appeared to have malfunctioned after one shot was fired. Mr. Spencer was pronounced dead at the scene.
The City of Hickory work truck was stolen from a city employee’s residence on Cloninger Mill Road N.E. That employee’s personal vehicle was also broken into and items were taken from within.
Officer Albrecht was hired by the Hickory Police Department in July of 2012 and Master Police Officer Ray was hired in August of 2008. Officers Albrecht and Ray will return to their normal duties this week.