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06-13-06, 12:27 PM #1
Officer shoots man after chase, standoff
DURHAM -- A Durham police officer shot a man in the face Monday after officers forced their way into a restroom at an East Geer Street business.
Christopher Thomas Vaughan, 20, locked himself in the bathroom after leading officers on a car chase that began on Holloway Street, after officers received reports Vaughan was brandishing a weapon.
According to police spokeswoman Kammie Michael, two people told officers that a man in a Dodge Durango pulled up to patrons at the Biscuitville at 1810 Holloway St., pointed a gun at them and accused them of "robbing his mother."
Officer C.L. Harrell was unable to stop the Durango, which sped down East Main Street, hitting a vehicle near Gary Street and then drove through Woodlawn Cemetery, Michael said.
After eluding officers on foot, Vaughan ran into Ace Radiator & Muffler at 910 E. Geer St. and locked himself in the restroom.
Police negotiators and the Selective Enforcement Team were called out to the scene, Michael said. Vaughan initially spoke with negotiators, but refused to come out of the restroom and eventually became unresponsive.
Officers feared Vaughan may have injured himself, Michael said, and decided to enter the building.
As the ordeal progressed, Vaughan's father, Mark Vaughan, arrived on the scene and tried to offer his assistance, he said.
"I told them, just let me talk to him. He listens to me," he said.
Mark Vaughan said that his son has attention deficit disorder and "the mind of a 14-year-old." He added the 20-year-old has been prescribed several medications for mental illness but that Vaughan is currently "off of his medication 'cuz he can't afford them."
"He's just depressed because he can't get a job. He ain't botherin' nobody. Somebody smacked his mama. He ain't tryin to hurt nobody who isn't tryin' to hurt him," he said.
Vaughan also spent most of his childhood in foster care, his father said, while Mark Vaughan was in and out of prison.
"He don't own a gun," Mark Vaughan said in defense of his son. "He found it. I told him to get rid of it."
After officers ordered Vaughan to come out of the restroom several times and even tried filling the bathroom with pepper spray, they forced the door open. It was during "the entry," Michael said, that Officer H.L. Davis shot Vaughan in the face.
"The circumstances surrounding the shooting are under investigation by the SBI at this time, so we are not commenting on the specifics," Michael wrote in an e-mail to The Herald-Sun. She did not return calls for comment.
Vaughan was taken to Duke University Hospital where he was treated for the gunshot wound.
The injuries did not appear to be life-threatening, Michael said.
Davis will be placed on administrative duty with pay, while the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and the Durham Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division investigate the shooting, as is standard in an officer-involved shooting.
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