A man who was fatally shot by a Catawba County deputy Tuesday was reportedly shot by a Hickory police officer nearly three years ago, his family told WBTV.
Family and friends have identified the man as Ray Valentine and say he was a "good family man."
"I think it's sad and cruel," friend Timothy Stewart said. "And I really think they shot down the wrong man yesterday."
The incident happened just after 4 p.m. Monday afternoon on the 1100 block of 15th Street NE in Hickory. Narcotics investigators were conducting an investigation when they came into contact with Valentine. Family members say they believe he was being followed by police.
According to the Catawba County Sheriff's Office, an altercation involving Valentine's vehicle and an undercover deputy's vehicle occurred during the investigation. The deputies vehicle was struck, officials said, hard enough to knock the bumper off.
"During this interaction, the subject was shot by investigators," deputies say, and Valentine crashed a short distance away.
Family and friends say this is not the first time Valentine has had contact with police. They say about three years ago Valentine was shot by a Hickory police officer.
"It's sickening, it's upsetting," family friend Keisha Collins said.
Collins said Valentine was pulled over for a traffic stop in Hickory three years ago and claims he didn't have a gun. She doesn't know what happened after that but she says police shot him eight times. Family members said Valentine filed a lawsuit against the Hickory Police Department.
"It's like disbelief that the law enforcement is continuing to do these kinds of things and get away with it," Collins said.
Hickory Police released archive press releases Tuesday night about an incident from December 2011 involving Irecas Ray Valentine, saying Valentine was shot after leading police on a vehicle chase and foot chase before coming toward a police officer in an "aggressive manner" with his hands in his pockets. The release doesn't say how many times Valentine was shot.
The officer in that shooting was cleared by the district attorney several months after the shooting, saying there was no evidence of criminal misconduct on the officer's part.
On June 24th, 2014, Valentine plead guilty to all charges that resulted from this incident, Hickory Police said Tuesday. "Since this date, there have been no further criminal or civil actions related to this incident."
The State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) is conducting the death investigation involving the deputy and Valentine. The officer's name has not been released by investigators.
According to the SBI, Valentine was reportedly approached by investigators Monday afternoon when he attempted to flee in a vehicle when he reportedly struck and "heavily damaged a patrol car" and was fatally shot by the Catawba County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Investigator.
He was rushed to Frye Regional Medical Center where he died. Any witnesses are asked to contact the SBI at 828-294-2226.