Police shoot man in armed standoff

October 20, 2009 7:46:15 PM PDT
Police shot a man after he held them at bay outside a Raleigh office building Wednesday.It happened in the area of Blue Ridge Road and Hillsborough near the State Fairgrounds.

The incident began around 1 p.m. when officers heard gunfire outside the Raleigh Police Southwest Precinct office, located at 601 Hutton Street.

They say they went outside to find a man brandishing two guns. They chased him into a nearby office building where he kept them at bay while ordering all the employees to get out.

Officers say the man came to both the front and the back doors of the building pointing a gun at himself and at officers.

When he pointed the gun at them, officers opened fire, hitting the man.

"The officers were confronted with what we see right now as a clear danger to themselves, their safety, and they took what we believe to be appropriate action to confront that danger," offered Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan.

The man was wounded by the officer's gunfire. He was taken to WakeMed hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Authorities later identified the suspect as 25-year-old Justin Lamar Thomas.

Hours later, officers showed up all at once in front of Thomas' Raleigh home in the 1200 block of Swallow Court.

No one was home at the time, so they used a key to get in.

Detectives wore gloves and used flash lights to search a downstairs room, before making their way upstairs and drawing a shade.

A lot of questions still linger in the case, like why did police begin searching Thomas' home, what motivated him to show up outside the police substation and why did officers still guard the crime scene hours later?

Due to an ongoing investigation, police aren't releasing any of those details at this time.

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