Man shot by Newton Grove police sexually abused woman, held her against her will: sheriff's office

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Thursday, June 17, 2021
Man shot by Newton Grove police sexually abused woman: sheriff
The SBI identified the man as 48-year-old Michael Almer Rich of Clinton.

NEWTON GROVE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The North Carolina State Bureau of investigation on Thursday identified the suspect who was shot by the Newton Grove police chief on Tuesday.

The SBI identified the man as 48-year-old Michael Almer Rich of Clinton. He is charged with first-degree kidnapping, first-degree sexual offense, breaking and entering, and possession of a firearm by felon.

As of Wednesday, he was still in the hospital and listed in fair condition.

Also on Thursday the Sampson County Sheriff's Office released new information about the circumstances leading up to the shooting.

The sheriff's office said that the investigation revealed that Rich went into victim's home without permission and forcibly committed sexual acts on her.

She was then held at gunpoint by Rich and forced to leave her home with him, authorities said.

While in Newton Grove, the woman was able to alert someone that she was in distress and that person called 911.

"I was coming out the door and I was stopped by a woman that was in a car right in front of the store that has asked me to call 911, not to look at her or anything, the man she is with has a gun and she feels threatened, said he's already raped her," the caller said.

Newton Grove Police Chief Gregory Warren was then dispatched to the area.

Surveillance video captured the moment the police chief shot Rich.

The shooting happened around 2:40 p.m. Tuesday at Sam's Circle Mart off Highway 701.

ABC11 was shown the video on Wednesday but was not given permission to release it.

The video from Sam's Circle Mart shows Warren confront the man outside.

The two talk for a few minutes and then the suspect begins to walk away. That's when the exchange gets heated.

The suspect then pulls what looks like a gun from under his shirt. Chief Warren pulls his gun and fires, hitting the suspect in the chest.

A later portion of the video shows Warren pick up a gun from the ground.

The woman, who was located at the scene, is safe, authorities said.

The Sampson County Sheriff's Office is investigating the circumstances that led to the shooting. The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the officer-involved shooting.

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