Salisbury police report they are investigating the fatal shooting by a police officer on the 600 block of East Lafayette Street that occurred about 9:25 a.m. Thursday during a narcotics investigation.
The department’s Special Response Team served a “no-knock” warrant in search of narcotics, weapons and stolen property, officials said. It was known at the time that the suspects inside were armed, officials said.
“One subject fired at least one shot at the officers,” said an official statement from the department. “Officers returned fire and struck the subject who has since passed away at the hospital.”
Police identified the dead man as Ferguson Laurent, 23, and the officer who shot him as K. Boehm. Officials said Boehm has been with the department since 2008 and was involved in a fatal shooting in 2010. The State Bureau of Investigation investigated that incident and found it to be justified, according to WBTV, the Observer’s news partner.
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Due to the circumstances of the incident, the SBI is leading the investigation into this shooting.
Salisbury police Chief Jerry Stokes said the department is watching for any potential unrest, according to WBTV, the Observer’s news partner.
“If anyone would like to protest, that is absolutely their First Amendment right. If you start becoming violent and damage property, then that is the problem,” the chief said. “Unfortunately, it’s a difficult situation, and we are going to work our way through it with the help of the community. … We are going to be as transparent about this as we can.”
The Salisbury Post reports word spread quickly that a Salisbury officer had shot a black man, prompting a crowd to gather at the scene, which was “at times tense.” Fatal shootings of African Americans by police have sparked unrest and protests in other cities, including Charlotte this past September.
A few area pastors and members of the Salvation Army formed a tight circle at the shooting scene in Salisbury, and held hands as they prayed for the family, police and the community, the Post reported.