Suspect in officer involved shooting dies

Gregory Paul Townsend (Image courtesy Fayetteville Police Department)

October 27, 2011 10:19:27 AM PDT
Police say a man shot by a Fayetteville police officer during a struggle last week has died.

Gregory Townsend died Thursday morning as a result of the injuries he received while fighting with an officer while in the parking lot of Sparky's Club in the 700 block of Bragg Boulevard on Oct. 17.

Authorities said the officer stopped Townsend's vehicle for a traffic violation, and at some point when the officer approached the vehicle, a fight ensued.

"During the course of the traffic stop, a physical altercation occurred between the suspect - the driver of the vehicle - and the police officer. During that altercation, that officer pulled his gun and fired upon the suspect, striking the suspect," explained police spokesman Gavin MacRoberts.

Police said Officer Bobby Cash fired several shots, hit 45-year-old Townsend in the torso.

Another Fayetteville officer - Police Specialist Heather Napieralski - who arrived to back up Officer Cash - was also involved in the struggle before the shots were fired.

Townsend was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center where he underwent surgery.

Officer Cash was also injured in the altercation and was treated and released at Cape Fear Valley.

Townsend had an outstanding warrant for his arrest before the traffic stop.

The Fayetteville Police Department has asked the State Bureau of Investigation to review the shooting - which is standard procedure.

Both officers Cash and Napieralski are on administrative duty pending the outcome of the SBI investigation - which is also standard.

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