An officer with the Hendersonville Police Department was fired after a state investigation showed he violated policy following a chase and shooting in March.
Police Chief Herbert Blake said on March 8 officers received a report of a burglary at a business on Seventh Street about midnight. He said that while officers were responding, they stopped a vehicle on Woodcock Street that they believed was related to the break-in.
Blake said the man inside the car fled and officers believed he was armed, so they responded by firing at the man. He said the man was later seen hiding at a home on Robinson Terrace, in the Green Meadows community.
Blake said that when officers, Henderson County deputies and the SWAT team surrounded the home, the man fled the scene, making movements that made police believe he was armed. He said an officer fired a shot, hitting the fleeing man, later identified as 41-year-old Fletcher Smiley, in the arm.
During the chase, officers fired several shots hitting nearby cars and Union Grove Baptist Church. The church's pastor, Rev. Billy Waters, said the side of his building had remnants, or holes, from more than 30 bullets.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation was called in to investigate the officer-involved shooting and their report was recently released. The police department also conducted their own internal investigation.
The findings of both investigations led to the termination of Officer Matt Lund, Blake said Monday.
Additionally, Officer Curtis Philon will be suspended without pay for two weeks and be required to attend remedial training, Blake said. The supervisor on duty at the time of the shooting received a written reprimand.
Blake said all officers employed by the city receive continual training and even went through use of force training and department policy a few weeks prior to March 8.
Blake said the District Attorney has decided not to file criminal charges against the officers.
On behalf of the city of Hendersonville, Blake said they want to apologize to the Green Meadows community for the incident resulting in a threat to public safety.
Additionally, Blake said his department believes in the safety of Green Meadows and, "the strong social fabric and sense of community that has been built by its residents."
Prior to the conclusion of the investigation, the three officers involved in the shooting were placed on paid administrative leave.
Smiley was wanted on charges of assault on a female and communicating threats, police said in March.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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