New police recordings in student death

August 27, 2009 2:28:33 PM PDT
New audio recordings released Thursday show what police were saying to dispatchers as a University of North Carolina student was shot and killed in Randolph County. Courtland Smith, 20, of Houston, Texas, died Sunday morning along Interstate 85 after he called 911 to report he was feeling suicidal.

In a 911 call released Wednesday, Smith tells an operator he's been drinking and he's armed with a 9mm.

Click to listen to the first recording released Wednesday (caution, graphic language)

"I'm trying to kill myself on I-40," Smith told the 911 operator.

Smith's speech is slow, halting, and slurred.

The operator begins to ask Smith a series of questions to try and figure out where he was and what kind of car he was driving.

The dispatcher continues to talk to Smith until Archdale police officers catch up to his Toyota 4-Runner in Randolph County.

In the 911 call, you can hear Smith get out of his vehicle and speak to officers. In the new tape released Thursday, you can hear them yelling at him.

Click here to listen to the new recording

“Stay in the car! Stay in the car!” they say.

“Archdale: Subject is getting back into his vehicle, stand by,” one of the officers calls in.

Then a few seconds later:

“Subject down! Subject down!”

And then another officer saying “shots fired, shots fired.”

The NC State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death. The Archdale Police Department has placed the officer who shot Smith - Jeremy Paul Flinchum - on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. A second officer at the scene - whose name was not released - is also on leave.

Smith was the chapter president of the UNC-Chapel Hill Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity chapter. A Delta Kappa Episilon alumnus said Smith set his career path his freshman year. The pre-med student wanted to be a pediatric cardiologist.

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