Police: Teen shot officers, brother, self

19-year-old Careem Leggett (Fayetteville Police Department)

May 3, 2011 2:35:43 AM PDT
Authorities say a 19-year-old Fayetteville man shot two officers and his brother during an early morning standoff with police before turning the gun on himself Monday.The standoff started around 1:30 a.m. on Argon Avenue after residents called police about a man walking around the neighborhood with a gun.

Fayetteville Police Chief Tom Bergamine said during a press conference Monday morning that 19-year-old Careen Leggett barricaded himself inside his home in the 1500 block of Argon Ave. shortly after police arrived.

Leggett fired at police, striking one officer in the chest, while another officer was hit in the arm.

The officer shot in the chest was treated at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center where he is listed in serious but stable condition.

The other officer was present at Monday's press conference as Bergamine told the media that they believed Leggett also shot his brother in the left leg.

Leggett's brother - whose name has not been released - was taken to the hospital and is expected to be okay.

During the standoff, several blocks around Argon Avenue were blocked off and residents near the home were told to leave for their safety.

After hours of negotiating with Leggett, Bergamine said they forcefully entered the home - after firing tear gas inside - and found Leggett dead in a back bedroom.

"It appears the cause of death will be a self-inflicted gunshot wound," the chief said.

He said before they entered the home, they heard a single gunshot fired from inside.

"I really felt bad, 'cause he was like a son to me," neighbor Annie Thorpe said. "He was a good little fella to me. Everybody on the street loved him."

Officials say they tried to get Leggett out of the house without any bloodshed.

"We talked to family members, tried to get some information on him, cell numbers, home phone numbers, layout of the house in case we had to do an entry," Fayetteville Police Lt. Chris Davis said.

The police chief also said his officers were called twice within the past year to Argon Avenue involving Leggett, guns and his mental state.

"Our officers were under, at one point, heavy gunfire from the suspect and we did not know at that point in time that they had been there in the past, because of mental illness."

In the meantime, the SBI is investigating the incident.

Police say family members told them Leggett has a history of mental illness. Officers have been called to two other incidents related to Leggett's mental health issues, and they say it appears Monday's incident was also mental health related.

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