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UPDATED: SBI investigating officer-involved shooting in Pender County


PENDER COUNTY, NC ( WWAY) -- District Attorney Ben David says the State Bureau of Investigation is looking into an officer-involved shooting that happened in Pender County over the weekend.

Sunday night a trooper with Highway Patrol shot and killed Maynard Thomas, 67, after investigators say Thomas pointed his gun at them.

Monday, friends of Thomas said it was all a misunderstanding.

“They just shot him down. They just emptied their guns on him,” said Jarrod Watkins, a friend of Thomas.

Crystal Walsh says she had been friends with Thomas for five years and he was the most generous person she has ever met.

She said Sunday night’s violence should have been avoided all together.

"I can't see why they couldn't find a better resolution than to take an elderly man's life,” said Walsh.

Friends and family gathered at Thomas’ home on Sloop Point Road in Hampstead to sort through his belongings on Monday.

They say before Thomas was killed, he was driving his golf cart around a dirt pile and accidentally crashed into his neighbor’s garage.

"He was out playing on his golf cart, doing stuff he shouldn't be doing,” said Hannah Royal.

Royal says neighbors then called police and Thomas went back to his house to be with friends.

About an hour later, they say police showed up.

David says the Highway Patrol, Pender County Sheriff's Office, and Surf City Police Department were all on scene at the time of the incident.

Witnesses say officers crept on them.

“I had a neighbor who said he saw them shut their lights off coming right up the road,” said Watkins.

Thomas’ loved ones say the Vietnam veteran had a heart of gold, but he had a problem with people stealing from him. They say because this was a reoccurring issue he kept a shotgun loaded with bird shot handy.

"He said if he ever had to use it on someone, he wouldn't want to kill him," said Watkins.

Friends say when Thomas spotted someone in his yard Sunday night; he fired a warning shot to scare whomever it was off.

"He shot out the window not knowing it was the cops,” said Royal.

Watkins, who was visiting Thomas at the time, said investigators never rang the doorbell, used their lights, or identified themselves.

“They were standing right here with no lights on,” said Watkins as he pointed to window in the back of the house.

Watkins says after Thomas pulled the trigger, the gunfire was returned.

“I glanced over at him and saw it went through the heart first round. He was incapacitated. There was no reason to keep shooting,” said Watkins.

Highway Patrol says the trooper did give loud verbal commands to announce law enforcement’s presence.

Highway patrol says the trooper, whose name has not been released, is on administrative leave.

They say second man, Daryl Moore, resisted arrest during the encounter and was charged with resisting, delaying and obstructing a law enforcement officer.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Sloop Point

Mr. Thomas was a well-known friend to the homeless community. While his motives may have been sincere, his methods were less than adequate. He enabled those who spent a lifetime using, abusing and consuming a multitude of drugs, drink and negative influences. He may have offered a haven for visitors seeking a respite of sorts, but he was ill-equipped to foster their need to better their situation. Therefore, his home became a lounging room for the jobless, the disabled, the troubled and even the lawless. Some of the people who were stealing from him were likely among the very ones he trusted. I don’t profess to know what happen that night, I’ll leave that up to the professionals to decipher. I do know that a community as old as Sloop Point has wandered way off course from what my ancestors knew it to be many, many years ago, a hard working family community.

Here are your "respected cops"

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Home>Featured Articles>Cook County
5 cops caught in lies on witness stand, judge says

In a 'Perry Mason' moment, a video played in court contradicts police officers who testified their drug arrest was proper

April 15, 2014|By Steve Schmadeke, Tribune reporter
One by one, five police officers took the witness stand at the Skokie courthouse late last month for what would typically be a routine hearing on whether evidence in a drug case was properly obtained.

But in a "Perry Mason" moment rarely seen inside an actual courtroom, the inquiry took a surprising turn when the suspect's lawyer played a police video that contradicted the sworn testimony of the five officers — three from Chicago and two from Glenview, a furious judge found.
Cook County Circuit Judge Catherine Haberkorn suppressed the search and arrest, leading prosecutors to quickly dismiss the felony charges. All five officers were later stripped of their police powers and put on desk duty pending internal investigations. And the state's attorney's office is looking into possible criminal violations, according to spokeswoman Sally Daly.

"Obviously, this is very outrageous conduct," a transcript of the March 31 hearing quoted the judge, a former county prosecutor, as saying. "All officers lied on the stand today. ... All their testimony was a lie. So there's strong evidence it was conspiracy to lie in this case, for everyone to come up with the same lie. ... Many, many, many, many times they all lied."

All five are veteran officers. Glenview Officer Jim Horn declined to comment Monday, while the other four — Sgt. James Padar and Officers Vince Morgan and William Pruente, all assigned to narcotics for Chicago police, and Glenview Sgt. Theresa Urbanowski — could not be reached for comment.

Legal experts in Cook County differ on how much of a problem perjury by police officers represents.

"Police officers are just like anybody — just because they're wearing a badge and carrying a gun does not give them more credibility," said Cook County Public Defender Abishi Cunningham Jr., a former Chicago prosecutor, defense attorney and judge. "Some officers approach it as a game of cops and robbers," he said. "This is anything but a game."


When are you people going learn the cops are the biggest gang in the country. They are here to extort money to fill the coffer of towns and counties. They will murder you at the drop of a hat just like in this story. They always use the standard line " I was in fear for my life". WAKE UP SHEEP. They are NOT your friends. Every time they screw you over they use the line "I was just doing my job" or " I was just following orders" just like the Gestapo said in Nuremberg when they were on trial. There are literally dozens of stories a day of cops guilty of rape, murder, child molesting, perjury you name it. They are out of control psychos. NEVER call them for anything they are not here to help you.

still mad

You still mad about that time you go arrested? Isn't it time to grow up?

Same old answer

If no one bows down to your heroes you think everyone is a criminal...we are just not sheep like you.

I see

So you are still on probation?


probation you must be thinking about your Mom.


Wow, what a burn to me. Unlike you, my mother grew up to be a responsible, law abiding respectful adult. You could learn from her.

Law enforcement are no

Law enforcement are no longer trained to serve and protect. They are militarized and trained to kill, shoot first ask questions and cover up later. Too many officer shooting and innocent killed. There will soon be a time when the public wont trust the Law and eventually we will turn on them. Its not a great idea to piss off the taxpayers, most of us have more guns and can shoot better than a trigger happy cop. Eventually the wrong person will get killed and there will be retailiation. Government needs to step in its like this all over country.


Why in the world would anyone side with the cops there wrong 95% of the time i know they do a hard job and have to protect them self's but to use deadly force on an old man and not announce there arrival like a knock on the freaking door or hey you guys know those big ugly blue lights that they like to use why the hell did they not use them.I think anybody would have saw them.furthermore they were only called there for a disturbance like him playing around on his golf cart drunk im not saying that's right or crashing into a neighbors garage but last time i checked that type of crime if one at all does not require the officers to come in lights off and no sirens but that's pender county for you where there own captain screws black men and pays him for services and then just gets a slap on the wrist and no charges filed but that's OK and a surf city cop is fired for stealing money from probation clients officer Holmes but that's ok and then this and you freaking people who wrote those nasty things with out doing research on how f****d this county's cops are your STUPID

Wow, nice to know that we

Wow, nice to know that we have people out there that thinks like you. Where in the hell are you people from? Move away, you are so liberal that you deserve to live in a communist Country. Oh, wait, we are almost there.


Where is the Sheriff?

An "Officer Involved Shooting" in his county and the Sheriff sends one of his Captains to breed the press instead of taking the responsibility?? I'll ask the same question that has been asked for years: Where is the Sheriff? We've not seen him around for several days.

Wilmington Observer


But he sure knows how to deny people for ABC permits just because he does not know them. He is a fool!!!


What does an ABC Permit has to do with anything? What an idiot.




before any facts are known; before any investigation is complete, the illustrious District Attorney must step before the media.

Does he really believe all of those press announcements and a stellar conviction rate comprised largely of plea bargains will earn him an election to Raleigh?

Top Cop

I saw that. He calls him self "The Top Cop", like if he really knew what is like to be one. What a joke!!

If someone was shot why

If someone was shot why wasn't fire and/or ems called to help the person . This people are suppose to help not kill

Police shooting.

Yeah cops are here to protect and serve and not kill, but what is it that you want them to do?

Wait around and let the criminals shoot first!!

Are you freaking kidding me? I don't think so.


Fire & EMS were called right after the shooing, he was pronounced dead on scene.

When Trap saw someone at the

When Trap saw someone at the window and fired a buckshot pellets, (NOT breaking the window) how did the policeman's bullet go through the window,through his heart, through the wall and out a the back sliding door. That bullet should be considered to dangerous to use in the public. I know a bullet should stop the person, but that bullet could kill several people with one shot. They did not tell him they were police, they were peeping in the big picture window. (don't post)

Police shooting

Really? You must be a criminal or know this criminals. That is all I have say.

Yes I knew him you have not

Yes I knew him you have not determined he was a criminal..not on your sayso. ENOUGH SAID

Officers were called alot

Officers were called alot eariler in the evening why did they wait on the main road until 11:00 pm to go up to his home why didn't they go earlier....they arrived at the callers home around 9...and yes I knew Mr Thomas and knew him well enough to say if the officers had called out to him he would not have picked up his gun. There is alot not being said at this time
but in days to come the truth will come out.


Why did a trooper have to even be there. A deputy needs to be the one who handles this situation. The deputy knows the people in the county they serve and could have handled the situation with no problem.

Troopers are not trained for this type of situation at all!!!


Can't wait

Why were they the police

Why were they the police peeking in the windows instead of knocking on the door at 11:00 pm.

Peeking in the windows you

Peeking in the windows you had shots fired coming from the area of his residence. I would hope if that were my house they would walk around my house to see if I were being held or something worse. Especially with the neighbors house being hit by a vehicle that was at this residence.

Police shooting

I guess you know all the facts. Liberal!

police shooting

Man, there are some really stupid people making comments about this>
Shot thru the heart? rescue was useless
Man fired buck shot at window? After a shot thru the heart? you are kidding me
Perps didnt obey officers commands, city cop and hwp at back of house and deputy at front
of house, nothing was said about anyone peeping thru picture window