Crime & Courts

1 man killed in Hickory officer-involved shooting

A 21-year-old man driving a stolen city truck was shot and killed in a confrontation with two Hickory police officers early Monday, authorities said.

Drew Marian Spencer of Taylorsville was fatally shot by officers about 3:40 a.m. at the Kangaroo Express convenience store, in the 2800 block of North Center Street, police said.

Police declined to identify the officers involved in the incident or say how long they have been with the department. Hickory police said the two officers have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard practice for officer-involved shootings.

The SBI has joined the investigation of the shooting by the officers, which is also standard.

“Because we’re still conducting the investigation, I can’t give you a definitive time” when information on the officers will be released, said Chrystal Dieter, administrative assistant for the department.

Investigators said the two officers questioned the driver of a city work truck that had pulled into the convenience store. The officers recognized the driver as a man who was involved in a fight Sunday night at a bar on nearby 29th Avenue Drive N.E.

The officers were talking to the man in the truck when he pointed a handgun at one officer, investigators said. Police said one of the officers backed away from the truck, and he and the other officer opened fire.

According to police, the truck driver was still holding the gun after the shooting. Police also said they found a spent shell casing in the gun, and they said the weapon appeared to malfunction after one shot was fired.

Neither of the police officers were injured. The truck driver died at the scene, police said.

Investigators said they later determined that the truck had been stolen from a Hickory city employee’s house on Cloninger Mill Road N.E. They said a personal vehicle owned by the employee was broken into and some items taken.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Spencer family as well as the officers involved in this incident this morning and their families,” Chief of Police Tom Adkins said.

Adkins said this is the second time in less than two weeks that a suspect has shot at Hickory Police while they were trying to apprehend suspects who had stolen a vehicle.

“Unfortunately, in this case, our officers had to use deadly force to protect themselves,” Adkins said.

Spencer has a criminal record dating back to at least 2009, public records show, including a conviction for misdemeanor larceny. He was awaiting trial for two traffic-related charges from May.

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