Police: Officers gave warning while serving warrant in deadly officer-involved shooting

SALISBURY, N.C. — The SBI is investigating a deadly officer-involved shooting that happened just before 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Salisbury.

IMAGES: SBI investigating after deadly officer-involved shooting in Salisbury

The Salisbury police chief identified the man shot and killed as 22-year-old Ferguson Laurent.

(Ferguson Laurent)

Authorities said the incident happened on East Lafayette Street when Laurent shot at officers. The police chief said officer Karl Boehm fired one shot back.

"The information we have at this point was that one shot was fired at two of the officers as they entered one of the rooms, one of those officers returned fire," said Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes.

(Officer Karl Boehm)

Officers were reportedly serving a no-knock search warrant for drugs, weapons and stolen property at a home after a three month investigation. The type of warrant authorizes officers to go into a home unannounced. Police said this was the first time a no-knock search warrant was used in Salisbury this year.

Stokes said Friday police gave a warning before entering the home, first using a flash bang in the hallway, then announcing the police presence.

Authorities revealed Friday that investigators took illegal drugs and some weapons from the home.

A Special Response Team was used to serve the warrant because the suspects in the house were known to be armed, officials said.

Police said when officers entered the home, Laurent shot at them and Boehm shot back, striking Laurent.

He was rushed to the hospital where he later died. No officers were hurt.

None of the officers were wearing body cameras.

Laurent's brother, Rudolph Smith, and neighbors questioned what police were saying about the shooting.

"He didn't have no gun," said Smith. "He didn't have no gun, I know my brother good."

"They're trying to say he shot at them first, ain't no way he shot at them, ain't no way," said friend Dakota McKinnon.

Neighbors told Channel 9 that someone had broken into Laurent's home within the past few weeks and he was shaken up about it. They believe he may have thought someone else was breaking in, when the Special Response Team burst into his home.

Police confirmed Friday that Laurent did file a report earlier this year, showing his home had been broken into when no one was home.

"I feel like it could have been handled a different way. If they had knocked on the door instead of kicking it in," said neighbor Shaquanda Nicholson.

LINK: City of Salisbury rumor control page

Stokes met with a group of community leaders to discuss how to bring calm to the community after the shooting. Since he was hired this summer, he's worked to build relationships with the public to solve more crimes.

"We'll be as transparent as we can, release information as it becomes available,” Stokes said. “Take a deep breath and wait for information to come out."

Police have not confirmed a burglary happened at Laurent's home.

Officers and local pastors have been walking through the community knocking on doors and talking to neighbors, even praying with them.

A flyer circulating on social media said there will be a vigil for Ferguson Friday at 9 p.m.

From Chopper 9 Skyzoom, crime scene tape could be seen roping off a mobile home with a heavy police presence on the ground.

The chief called for calm in the community while the SBI investigates the matter.

"Let the SBI run their investigation. Let us get the information out before people draw their conclusions," said Stokes.

During a news conference Thursday, the police chief revealed that Boehm had also been involved in a shooting in 2010 and was cleared. Boehm is on administrative leave while Salisbury police conduct their own internal investigation.

Police also charged Ariel Peterson, 20, with resisting a public officer during the incident.

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