Victim of officer-involved shooting had gun, charges show

By EMILY WEAVER
Managing editor
Posted 6/17/21

“Shots fired! Shots fired!”

The police chief’s voice was frantic.

“Subject down!”

“...I need EMS. 10-18.”

The ten-code called for urgency. …

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Victim of officer-involved shooting had gun, charges show

The Sampson County Sheriff’s Office and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation investigate an officer-involved shooting in Newton Grove Tuesday afternoon.
The Sampson County Sheriff’s Office and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation investigate an officer-involved shooting in Newton Grove Tuesday afternoon.
DAILY RECORD PHOTO/THOMAS HONEYCUTT
Posted

“Shots fired! Shots fired!”

The police chief’s voice was frantic.

“Subject down!”

“...I need EMS. 10-18.”

The ten-code called for urgency.

“10-18!”

Newton Grove Police Chief Greg Warren said it twice as 48-year-old Michael Almer Rich of Clinton lied bleeding beside him — and a second gun.

Calls to 911, surveillance footage and information from the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office detailed the encounters surrounding an officer-involved shooting that landed Rich in the hospital and Warren on leave. It started with a call to 911 from a Newton Grove Dollar General parking lot Tuesday afternoon.

“I was coming out the door and I was stopped by a woman that is in a car right in front of the store that has asked me to call 911, not to look at her or anything,” the caller said. “The man she is with has a gun and she feels threatened. She said he’s already raped her and everything.”

The caller gave the dispatcher the car’s license plate number and where she last saw it.

“During the investigation, it was determined that Rich entered the victim’s residence without permission and forcibly committed sexual acts on the victim,” stated a release from the Sheriff’s Office. “The victim was held at gunpoint by the suspect and forced to leave her residence with him. While in Newton Grove, the victim was able to alert a citizen that she was in distress and the citizen contacted 911.”

Warren responded to the call at Sam’s Circle Mart around 2:40 p.m.

Surveillance footage obtained and aired by WRAL shows Warren and Rich in a scuffle before Rich pulls something from his pocket. The video then cuts to the chief standing over Rich with his gun drawn before he bends down to pick up a second gun from the ground at Rich’s side.

Backup arrived on scene seconds later. Warren was not injured in the shooting.

SCSO investigators obtained felony warrants Wednesday, charging Rich with first-degree kidnapping, first-degree sexual offense, breaking and entering and possessing a firearm as a felon. Rich remains in a hospital in “fair condition” and will be arrested upon his release.

A Sampson County court convicted Rich of carrying a concealed weapon in 2011 and in 2013, according to online offender information from the N.C. Department of Public Safety. He also has past convictions of speeding to elude arrest and possessing marijuana with an intent to sell it.

Warren is on administrative leave while the State Bureau of Investigation looks into the officer-involved shooting.

“The SBI investigation into the officer involved shooting remains ongoing,” said Anjanette Grube, SBI’s public information officer.

“We would like to thank everyone for their patience during this investigation and continue to ask for prayers for all those involved,” said SCSO Lt. Marcus Smith.

Emily Weaver can be reached at eweaver@mydailyrecord.com or at 910-230-2028.

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