N.C. police shooting claims life of Black man riding as vehicle passenger

Officials say 60-year-old man failed to comply with police orders and a struggle ensued, eventually leading to the shooting

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

A Winston-Salem police officer shot and killed a 60-year-old Black man during a traffic stop last Friday night.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that Edward Van McCrae was in the backseat of a car when Officer D.E. McGuire, who has been with the department since 2015, pulled the car over just after 10:30 p.m. during a routine patrol, according to the Winston-Salem Police Department.

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Police say that McCrae was moving suspiciously and reaching toward concealed areas of the vehicle. After McGuire issued multiple verbal warnings telling McCrae to stop, he requested emergency police backup.

The police account

McGuire ordered McCrae out of the car, which was also occupied by another unnamed man and woman. From there, the police claim there was a struggle

“After being removed from the vehicle, Mr. McCrae physically struggled with Officer McGuire and refused multiple verbal commands by Officer McGuire to ‘stop reaching,’” police said in a news release.

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As the struggle continued, McGuire said he saw a gun and shot McCrae, police said.

Other officers arrived at the scene within seconds and, after attempts to revive him, McCrae was pronounced dead at the scene.

Radio communication between the officer and a dispatcher gave an account of what transpired on Friday night from the car being pulled over to backup arriving on the scene.

McGuire received minor injuries during the altercation with McCrae, and the other occupants of the vehicle were not injured during the incident.

Police described the initial traffic stop on the vehicle as routine but wouldn’t say what necessitated the traffic stop, identify the driver of the car, the other passengers.

Mayor pledges open probe

Police declined on Saturday to release any other details, but the city’s mayor is promising transparency.

“Obviously, it’s a concerning situation. We worked on something similar two years ago with the minister’s conference and the NAACP, asking the community to stay calm and give the SBI time to investigate,” Mayor Allen Joines said. “We’re pledging full transparency with this investigation.”

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The shooting will be investigated by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

“We intentionally don’t investigate our own incidents,” Winston-Salem Assistant Chief Wilson Weaver said. “It’s inappropriate for us to do so.”

McGuire began employment with the Winston-Salem Police in August 2015 and is currently assigned as a patrol officer in the Field Services Bureau. He has been placed on administrative duty until the investigations are complete.