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Raleigh police kill man setting cars ablaze near police station

A Raleigh Police Cruiser
PdPoliceCars, via Flickr
Raleigh police said a man died earlier in the day after four police officers shot him outside the station. Police officers shot him after they saw him throwing Molotov cocktails at vehicles in a parking lot near the police station.

Officers shot and killed a man Saturday afternoon who was throwing Molotov cocktails and setting cars on fire near a police station in Raleigh, North Carolina, authorities said.

The confrontation began after an officer observed a man lighting vehicles on fire in a parking lot near a district station at around 1:20 p.m., Police Chief Estella Patterson said at a news conference.

The officer called for assistance, and three other officers came to help, she said, and the officers ordered the man to stop. Patterson said the man continued to throw Molotov cocktails, ultimately tossing one near an officer close to him.

“Multiple officers then discharged their weapons, and the individual was struck multiple times," Patterson said.

Police then moved the man away from two vehicles that had become engulfed in flames and attempted life-saving efforts, Patterson said. He was rushed by paramedics to a hospital but died. He wasn't immediately identified.

Body cameras were active, as well as cameras outside the police station that captured events, Patterson said, adding she didn't have any immediate information on the number of shots fired or how many had struck the man.

She thanked firefighters for quickly arriving and putting out the flames.

Although the chief didn't elaborate on the vehicles burned, news photographs showed a police vehicle with what appeared to be a blackened and heavily damaged engine bay being towed away.

The police chief said an investigation is ongoing and more details of the shooting would be released in a report in coming days.

The FBI was notified in keeping with department policy, Patterson added, noting the investigation's findings will be submitted to the Wake County district attorney.

The shooting took place near the department's southeast district station in Raleigh, North Carolina's capital city. Police, fire and other emergency response vehicles swarmed the street afterward and the stretch of road remained close for several hours while the investigation continued.

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