Man who threw molotov cocktails at RPD officers was not intoxicated, autospy report finds

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Wednesday, August 24, 2022
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Man who threw molotov cocktails at RPD officers was not intoxicated, autospy report finds

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The man who threw molotov cocktails at Raleigh police officers in May did not have any alcohol or common drugs of abuse in his system, according to an autopsy report.

On May 7 around 1:20 p.m., Reuel Rodriguez-Nunez, 37, was in the police station parking lot at Raleigh Police Department's Southeast District Station. Video shows him setting multiple fires and throwing molotov cocktails.

At one point he can be heard saying, "today is my day to move on."

Officers repeatedly told Rodriguez-Nunez to stop, but he refused. In fact, he eventually turned toward the officers, lit a Molotov cocktail and threw it at them. That's when the officers opened fire.

SEE ALSO: RPD releases video from deadly encounter with man who threw Molotov cocktails at police cars

Investigators said the officers fired 30 shots at Rodriguez-Nunez. The newly released autopsy report found that he suffered from 11 gunshot wounds, including ones to his head, arms, back, torso, legs and foot.

Toxicological testing found only nicotine in his system. He also had no significant natural diseases.

Following the release of the body camera footage in the case back in June, Rodriguez-Nunez's family called for changes to police policy.

The family said the officers failed to handle the situation as a mental health crisis.

"We look up to them and things like this, they affect all of us. It doesn't matter is if it's not your family or if it's a family member, we know this was wrong," Jasiel Rodriguez Nunez said at the time.

The family said the RPD body camera footage showed officers repeatedly failing to de-escalate the situation. They called for Raleigh City Council and Mayor to financially invest in a Mobile Crisis Response Team/ Unit external of Law enforcement, for Raleigh Police Department's ACORN unit to respond to any possible calls of service of someone in mental distress or having a mental health crisis, and or every officer on RPD to undergo De-Escalation, Crisis Intervention, and Character training, with a refresher course occurring at least once every year.

RPD has already unveiled a draft of a new de-escalation policy. The department said it wants to emphasize that it values life above all--both officers' lives and citizens' lives.