Family of Marine concerned about Cary shooting

December 22, 2008 6:37:55 AM PST
James "Jimmy" Cummings, 31, is in serious but stable condition at WakeMed after getting shot in the abdomen by a Cary police officer.

It happened just before five in the morning Sunday, at his home on Dundalk Way.

"[A] person told us there was someone there having difficulty with a mental issue," said Captain Michael Williams. "We responded, and through our intervention we had to use force against him, and someone was shot."

But Jim Cummings, the victim's father, told Eyewitness News: "There's ways to handle a situation like this, other than drawing weapons."

The elder Cummings, a retired Marine, drove to Raleigh from Jacksonville with family and friends when he heard about the shooting, which happened a few hours after the son and his fiancée attended his brother's wedding.

They told us something apparently upset Jimmy Cummings sometime overnight, and scared his fiancée.

Like his father, Cummings served in the Marines and went to war. Now, the father says, "He has a mental disorder. His fiancée called 911 because he was hitting his chest very hard, and she wanted to get him to the emergency room. So when she called 911, the police showed up."

They won't say what led to the shooting, or discuss any details of the incident while the SBI investigates. But the father says Cary officers talked to Cummings inside the home's kitchen for several minutes before one shot his son, who had a BB gun in his hand. "And all I know is, he was shot,"said Jim Cummings.

Asked if that officer believed there was any sort of threatening move made by Cummings before the shot was fired, Captain Williams said. "That's another part of the investigation we're not disclosing at this point."

According to the family, when the fiancée called 911 she told the operator she wasn't afraid Cummings would harm her. They told us she thought he might harm himself. They're even more upset because he got shot, and wound up in the hospital, on his birthday.

Now they're praying for his recovery, and waiting for the results of an SBI probe of the shooting.


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