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TMCNet:  Witness: Man killed by police knocked out female officer

[October 22, 2010]

Witness: Man killed by police knocked out female officer

GREENSBORO, Oct 22, 2010 (News & Record - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A man was fatally shot by Greensboro police early Friday morning after punching a female officer and knocking her unconscious.

Marques Ra'Shawn Burnett, 28, of 1201 Bennett St. was shot by Cpl. M.W. Chandler around 2:30 a.m. today while officers were responding to a disturbance call in the 800 block of Tuscaloosa Street.

According to Capt. Janice Rogers, a neighbor had called 911 and reported a man outside yelling that he was going to kill someone.

Officer T.N. Gillis was the first officer to respond. She encountered Burnett in the front yard of 811 Tuscaloosa St. and immediately called for back up, Rogers said.

When she confronted him, Rogers said Burnett fought with Gillis. She used her Taser on him, which had no effect.

Chandler arrived shortly thereafter and police said Burnett fought with him as well.

At some point, Burnett knocked Gillis unconscious and Chandler shot Burnett, who died at the scene. The entire incident lasted around 90 seconds, Rogers said.

Both officers were transported to the hospital, where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries. However, Rogers said Gillis was re-admitted to the hospital this afternoon for further treatment of significant facial injuries she suffered in the altercation.

The SBI is investigating the incident, which is standard protocol when a police officer is involved in a shooting.

It is unclear whether Burnett had a weapon or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol during the incident.

His body was transported to the N.C. Medical Examiner's Office in Chapel Hill, where an autopsy is expected to be completed Saturday.

Burnett had no prior criminal record, according to the state Department of Correction database.

Witnesses to the shooting disputed that a Taser was used in the incident, but saw Burnett knock the female officer unconscious.

Burnett's friends said he worked at the cafeteria at Wesley Long Hospital and wasn't into drugs, alcohol or partying.

Once an investigation is complete, the SBI will turn its findings over the Guilford County district attorney's office, which will determine whether the shooting was justified.

The case is the Greensboro Police Department's third officer-involved fatal shooting this year.

Read more on this story in Saturday's News & Record or online at Contact Ryan Seals at 373-7077 or To see more of the News & Record or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to Copyright (c) 2010, News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.

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