Police: Man brandished BB gun that looked real at Raleigh officer before shooting

May 24, 2019

A man pointed what appeared to be a handgun at a Raleigh police officer and refused to drop it before the officer shot him Sunday morning, police said Friday.

The weapon turned out to be a modified BB gun, Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said in “five-day report” summarizing the department’s preliminary findings as it investigates the shooting.

Raleigh firefighters and paramedics responded to a medical call at 5210 Falls of Neuse Road, in the Quail Ridge Apartments complex, but were confronted by a man who threatened them.

The man, later identified as 40-year-old Michael Anthony Hendricks Jr., was sitting on the floor of his apartment next to a cardboard box that his roommate said contained a gun.

″[Hendricks] told fire personnel that, if they did not back off, he would attack,” Deck-Brown wrote in her report. “At that time, Mr. Hendricks began rummaging through the box.”

The first responders backed off and waited for police to arrive. Officer C.T. Melochick was the first officer to respond, and he was talking with Hendricks’ roommates in the parking lot outside the apartment building when Hendricks came around the corner and approached them, Deck-Brown said.

“Mr. Hendricks had a gun in his hand that was raised at shoulder level and pointed at Officer Melochick,” she said.

As the roommates dove for safety, Melochick took cover behind a patrol car and ordered Hendricks to drop the gun, she said. When Hendricks refused to comply with the repeated orders, Melochick shot him once in the abdomen, she said.

Paramedics quickly returned to the scene and took Hendricks to WakeMed for treatment. His condition was unknown Friday.

A gun found at the scene was found to be an Airsoft gun that had its orange safety tip removed, Deck-Brown said.

A man who called 911 to report Hendricks brandishing a knife that morning described him as “a vet ... having a flashback.”

“As of the date of this memo, the Raleigh Police Department has not been able to locate any record of military service by Mr. Hendricks,” Deck-Brown said, adding that Melochick and her other officers were aware that Hendricks was armed when they responded to the scene.

Melochick, who is assigned to the department’s Field Operations Division, has been placed on desk duty while the State Bureau of Investigation and the department review the shooting.

His body-worn camera recorded the shooting, according to police, and the department is seeking a court order to release that video as well as what was recorded by his dashboard camera.

The Raleigh Police Department recently changed its policy on body-worn cameras after an officer killed a man last month but didn’t have his body-cam on at the time.

Under the new policy, body cameras are always recording video without audio, even if an officer doesn’t manually activate it.

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