Some question Durham police shooting of knife-wielding man - WSPA.com

Some question Durham police shooting of knife-wielding man

Posted: Updated:
The incident is being investigated by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Durham Police Department, which is standard procedure in any officer-involved shooting. The incident is being investigated by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Durham Police Department, which is standard procedure in any officer-involved shooting.
DURHAM, N.C. -

Durham Police are being criticized for using deadly force on a knife-wielding man who they confronted Saturday morning.

Jose Adan Cruz Ocampo, 33, was shot after he refused to drop a knife when surrounded by police in front of 806 Park Avenue.

Some say a language barrier caused the shooting to happen and that Ocampo was actually trying to surrender to police.

It began when friends say Ocampo threw a beer bottle at another man, hitting him in the face. The man was also cut during the altercation. The stabbing victim was taken to the hospital for treatment.

When police arrived, they found Ocampo standing outside a home with a knife in one hand.
Friends say he did not know what police were saying to him.

"Jose no understand, no speak English," said his friend Alfredo Medea.

When Officer R.S. Mbuthia demanded Ocampo drop the knife to the ground, a friend, speaking through a translator, told WNCN that Ocampo instead tried to give the knife to the officers.

"You know the part you use to cut? He put his hand on that part and gave the other end to police," said a translator for David Battista.

When asked what Mbuthia did then, Battista pointed his fingers like a pistol and made the sound of a gun firing four times.

Ocampo's friends wonder why Mbuthia reacted that way.

Alfredo Medea, speaking through a translator said, "The police should have never killed him. They should have used a Taser or pepper spray."

What happened to Ocampo is frustrating and angering to some of the longtime residents who live on Park Avenue.

"It was unnecessary, I believe," said Ernest Smith. "Their response to whatever was happening was definitely excessive."

Smith has been involved with a neighborhood program that joins police and residents together, and has regular meeting with the department's district captain.

He says police listen to their complaints, but sometimes he fears they aren't responding to what they hear.

"There's been just too much happening that shows they don't really have the same values for people of the community that I think they should," Smith said.

Smith intends to take his latest complaint about the shooting to Durham police.

In the meantime, the department says it cannot comment on the shooting, which is under investigation by the SBI as well as the police department's Professional Standards and Criminal Investigation divisions.

Mbuthia is currently on administrative leave with pay, which is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting.

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • Greenville Worker, Mower Fall Into Reedy River

    Greenville Worker, Mower Fall Into Reedy River

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:32 PM EDT2014-07-29 18:32:22 GMT
    According to our crew at the scene, the worker was mowing grass off Woodland Way near the horse stables and Cleveland Park when the mower slipped down a steep embankment into the Reedy River.
    According to our crew at the scene, the worker was mowing grass off Woodland Way near the horse stables and Cleveland Park when the mower slipped down a steep embankment into the Reedy River.
  • Union Police Searching For Missing Man

    Union Police Searching For Missing Man

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 1:17 PM EDT2014-07-29 17:17:46 GMT
    Albert Dunn, Jr., 62, is described as a black male standing around 6 feet tall, weighing approximately 170 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.
    Albert Dunn, Jr., 62, is described as a black male standing around 6 feet tall, weighing approximately 170 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.
  • Police: Grass Stolen From Woman's Yard

    Police: Grass Stolen From Woman's Yard

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:43 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:43:26 GMT
    When asked if she knew who had stolen the sod, the woman stated it was "someone with small feet" due to the footprints in the dirt.When asked if she knew who had stolen the sod, the woman stated it was "someone with small feet" due to the footprints in the dirt.
    The City of Spartanburg Police Department released a report stating a woman had grass stolen from her front yard.
    The City of Spartanburg Police Department released a report stating a woman had grass stolen from her front yard.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.