Zebulon Police release names of officers, suspect in officer-involved shooting

ZEBULON, NC (WTVD) -- Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting at a gas station near a Zebulon Walmart.

The shooting happened at the Murphy Express gas station on East Gannon Avenue.

Police said the investigation started at the Walmart when a man called 911 reporting he had a warrant out for his arrest for a parole violation. The man told police he would wait at the Walmart.

Kurt Lee Walters

Officers did not find him at the store but found him at the gas station.

Police said when officer Robert Prichard began speaking with him, the man, identified as Kurt Lee Walters, 30, became combative, pushing one of the officers and producing a weapon which he pointed at the officer with whom he was speaking. A second officer, Nathanial Brown, fired one shot Walters, striking him one time in the neck area.

"We had an officer who began to have conversation with the suspect and at some point during the conversation the suspect pushed the officer away from him," said Police Chief Timothy Hayworth. "And as he pushed the police officer away from him, he did produce a weapon."

Walters was treated at the scene and taken to WakeMed where he is described as stable.

Chief Hayworth said that when Brown saw what was happening, he reacted.

"Our secondary officer fired one shot," Chief Hayworth said.

Neither officer was injured during the encounter.

Brown, 52, has been with the police force about 12 years. Prichard has been the department for 10 years.

Brown has been placed on non-disciplinary administrative duty as is standard for officer-involved shootings.

Neither officer has been involved in any previous officer-involved shootings.

Police said Walters, whose last-known address was in the 8700 block of Dukes Lake Road, Zebulon, has a lengthy criminal record. A vehicle that was reported stolen earlier that same day (reported to the Wake County Sheriff's Office) was recovered in the Walmart parking lot. Police said they suspect Walters stole that vehicle and used it to drive to the area.

Investigators say security video from the gas station does not show the shooting and there were no body cameras.

Authorities say they interviewed three witnesses at the scene who confirm the accounts of the police officers.

A gun was found at the scene.

North Carolina's State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.

The SBI asks that anyone who was a witness to the Sunday night shooting to contact them with any information at (919) 779-8188 (M-F, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.) or (800) 334-3000 (after hours and weekends).
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