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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

Report: Raleigh officer fired 5 shots at man after I-440 crash

Rosa Jerez, wife of Daniel Turcios, spoke at a press conference hosted by Emancipate NC on Tuesday morning. Ivan Almonte stood to her right to translate from Spanish.
Jason deBruyn
Rosa Jerez, wife of Daniel Turcios, spoke at a press conference hosted by Emancipate NC on Tuesday morning. Ivan Almonte stood to her right to translate from Spanish.

Raleigh police officer A.A. Smith fired two shots at Daniel Turcios, then about five seconds later, fired another three shots. That's according to a report from the Raleigh police department that was released by the city Wednesday.

Turcios fell to the ground and was placed in handcuffs, according to the report. Emergency responders who were at the scene rendered emergency aid and Turcios was taken to a hospital where he later died.

Raleigh released a "five-day report," on Wednesday related to the police shooting that resulted in Turcios' death. A "five-day report" makes some preliminary details public after a police officer shoots someone. These reports offer some additional information from what police report in the hours after a shooting, but are not the results of a full investigation.

In this case, the State Bureau of Investigation is conducting a criminal investigation, and there is an internal review of the officers' actions, as well as a crash reconstruction investigation. All three are ongoing.

Turcios had been in a car crash after his vehicle ran off Interstate 440 near Brentwood Road. Police say he had a knife, which he was told 12 times to drop, according to the report. Advocates for police reform with the group Emancipate NC say this was a small pocket knife, and that Turcios was disoriented from the crash, and likely didn't understand the commands.

After Turcios did not drop the knife, Raleigh police Sgt. W.B. Tapscott deployed his Taser, which caused Turcios to fall to the ground, according to the report and video that was distributed by Emancipate NC.

When officers approached him, "he swung the knife towards the officers, nearly making contact" with Raleigh police officer K.G. Begin, according to the report. At this point, officer Smith fired his weapon twice, which caused Turcios to fall to the ground. When he tried to get up, Smith fired three more shots, causing Turcios to fall and drop the knife, according to the report.

The report does not detail how many of the shots hit Turcios, nor does it provide any autopsy information. A 911 caller had reported "that the driver of the overturned vehicle forced him off the road and appeared to be intoxicated." The report included no information about Turcios' blood alcohol content.

Kerwin Pittman, Emancipate NC's director of policy and program, says the report still leaves questions unanswered and wants the police body camera footage to be released.

In North Carolina, only a judge can release this kind of footage. It has been the Raleigh Police Department's policy to petition the court for the release, which it has done in this case, and a hearing is expected Feb. 3. Police departments do not decide whether or not to release this footage.

Copyright 2022 North Carolina Public Radio. To see more, visit North Carolina Public Radio.

Jason deBruyn is the WUNC data reporter, a position he took in September, 2016.