911 calls reveal details before Raleigh police killed man firing shots near school

·4 min read

Early Monday morning, several 911 calls began to pour in reporting an armed man shooting at cars on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard as he walked down the street.

Audio recordings of 911 calls released by the Raleigh Police Department Wednesday describe a harrowing scene near Ligon Magnet Middle School and the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women before officers fatally shot the man.

“There’s a man pointing his gun at teachers’ cars,” said one 911 caller, who identified herself as a teacher at Ligon Magnet. “It’s quite dark. We just got to school. We can’t really see well.”

At least 12 calls were made in 20 minutes by callers who provided different descriptions of the shooter and varying locations of where they saw him.

The calls started after 6:50 a.m. as concerned residents witnessed a dangerous situation unfolding.

“He went up the car in front of me and tried to open the door, and I ran the light to go away from him,” one alarmed caller said after 7 a.m.

Two people called 911 to report that a man had shot at their vehicles while they were inside, but did not injure them.

Shortly after 7 a.m., officers fired at the man after he shot at two police cars, wounding him on the 700 block of Cumberland Street east of downtown. He died from his injuries at a hospital.

Police haven’t released the shooter’s identity, but will provide a five-day report, which is part of the city’s protocol after an officer has fired their weapon at someone.

Police are investigating reports of shots fired at Ligon Middle School in Raleigh.
Police are investigating reports of shots fired at Ligon Middle School in Raleigh.

Timeline of 911 calls

6:53 a.m. A caller who identified herself as a Ligon Magnet Middle School teacher reports a man pointing a gun at passing cars while it was still dark.

6:58 a.m. A caller describes a dark-skinned man with a gun wearing a white tank top and jeans walking in the middle of MLK Jr. Boulevard near Coleman Street by the women’s prison.

Cars stop in the street to avoid hitting the man. The 911 operator says that several officers have responded to the scene already.

6:59 a.m. A woman driving on MLK Jr. Boulevard reports seeing an armed man “not acting ordinarily,” pointing a gun at cars passing by and attempting to open a door of an occupied vehicle at a stoplight.

A second caller who identified herself as an employee at Ligon Magnet reports that a man had just shot at her car. The caller saw him standing “right there at the school.”

7:01 a.m. The man shoots at a passing car, and a woman driving it calls 911 to report that her car has been shot.

“I believe he was trying to shoot up the tire and maybe shot the bumper,” the caller said.

The 911 operator said that police were responding and asked the caller if the man fit the description of a Hispanic male with a white tank top.

A second person called around the same time describing a Black man wearing a baseball cap walking towards Cumberland Street shooting a gun.

The 911 operator told him that officers were searching for the man in the area.

A third 911 caller reported seeing an “active shooter” in the middle of the street by MLK Jr. Boulevard and Coleman Street.

7:02 a.m. A woman described an armed man walking on Page Street shooting a gun. She describes the man as a Hispanic man wearing a white tank top undershirt, jeans and a cap.

7:03 a.m. A person called 911 after their car was shot at by a man standing in the road with a gun.

“There’s a guy in the middle street just shooting,” he said. “Send somebody quick, he’s shooting at cars.”

A second caller reported seeing the armed man and said the man shot at her husband’s car after dropping their children off at Ligon Magnet.

7:04 a.m. A 911 operator calls a person back who was reporting the armed man walking on MLK Jr. Boulevard and Coleman Street.

7:13 a.m. A man reports hearing gunfire on Coleman Street.