New Hanover DA says no officers will face charges in the shootout that occurred along Market Street
New Hanover District Attorney Ben David has said no officers will face charges in the shootout that occurred along Market Street on Friday, August 18.
The statement came in a news release from the Wilmington Police Department.
“As the video makes clear, the shooting death of William Brent Gilmore was legally justified and consistent with the officers' training," David said in the release. "Their swift action may very well have saved other lives. No officer will face any criminal charges. They should be allowed to return to active duty as soon as they are able."
The release also contained traffic camera footage of the incident. The video shows the suspect fleeing from his vehicle, which was stopped in traffic on Market Street, and firing at officers who were in pursuit. He then runs behind a grove of trees with officers following.
In the release, Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams, New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon, Wrightsville Beach Police Chief David Squires, New Hanover District Attorney Ben David, and 911 Center Director Hope Downs all praised the men and women who responded to the incident.
“As displayed in the video, the heroic actions of our officers and the deputies last week undoubtedly saved numerous lives and helped put an end to a criminal rampage," Williams said. “The suspect open fired on officers and deputies. To protect those around them and themselves, law enforcement returned fire, ultimately fatally wounding the suspect. As I have stated before, in law enforcement, we never want to have to take a life, but when it comes down to it, if that is the necessary action, that is what we will do to protect our community."
"I’m very proud and thankful for the brave actions of all the men and women of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Wilmington Police Department, Wrightsville Beach Police Department, NC State Highway Patrol, and the New Hanover County 911 Center," McMahon said. "It was the combined effort of all these agencies working seamlessly together that saved our community from further violence by this dangerous individual.”
During that incident, officers killed William Brent Gilmore, who was later identified as the suspect in an alleged 24-hour crime spree that began around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, August 17.
Officers suspect Gilmore fired shots into a house on Dixie Avenue in Wilmington around 5:30 p.m. No one was injured in that incident. Investigators believe Gilmore then shot 54-year-old Shelley Lancaster, who was walking her dog on Lake Avenue. Lancaster is recovering from her injuries.
On Friday, officers said Gilmore traveled to Wrightsville Beach, where he assaulted a woman at a home on Scotch Bonnet Lane before firing shots and fleeing the scene. The crime spree ended on Market Street when Gilmore began firing on police after a pit maneuver. Police returned fire, killing him.