The Associated Press
WILMINGTON, N.C. - A man who had been running partially clad in a city street was shot to death after he fired at police officers, the Wilmington Police Department said Friday.
Phillipe E. McIver, 23, died at the scene, and police confirmed that Officer Jason M. Howard fired at McIver, though officials aren't yet sure if Howard's bullet killed McIver, said Police Chief Ralph Evangelous.
"We know the shots were fired and he was hit. There are other circumstances here in play that we can't get into," Evangelous told the Star-News of Wilmington.
An autopsy was scheduled for Saturday at the state medical examiner's office in Jacksonville.
Two officers responded about 11 p.m. Thursday to a report that a man was running naked. When they arrived at Princess Place Drive and Greendale Drive they found McIver dressed only in a T-shirt.
Another officer, Jason Whitt, confronted him, but McIver stripped Whitt's gun from his holster and fired at Whitt, Evangelous said. Howard then returned fire, the chief said.
A crowd of several hundred people gathered at the scene after the shooting and more officers were called in, Evangelous said. Tear gas and pepper balls were used to disperse the crowd, he said.
McIver's friends and family members stood by a makeshift memorial on Friday. His second cousin, James Parker, questioned the police officers' actions. He said he'll remember McIver as a "standup kid" who took care of his two children.
"He wasn't in no trouble. He looked after his kids. Why did they have to shoot him?" Parker asked.
The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident.