2 Winston-Salem Police Officers Involved In Shooting

10:38 PM, Oct 18, 2013   |    comments
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Two Winston-Salem Police officers are on administrative leave following a shooting early Friday morning.

The Winston-Salem Police Department says Officer B. Ferguson stopped a car in the 1600 block of North Liberty Street just before 12:30 a.m., Friday. Police say there was a "confrontation" between the officer and the occupants of a green Cadillac Seville.

Ferguson fired multiple shots. The vehicle sped away before hitting a chain-link fence and continuing on North Liberty Street, according to police. 

Police say Officer B.K. Ayers was nearby and responded to help after hearing gunshots. He, too, fired at the car. That's when police say the vehicle crashed into Gilmore's Funeral Home at 1609 N. Liberty St.

Police say James Edward Plater, the driver, and Aonta De'Vaux Ruth, the passenger, were taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Ruth was treated and released; Plater remains in serious condition.

At this point, neither officer has issued a statement to police.

It is not known if the men were armed. When asked if Plater or Ruth fired a weapon, Assistant Chief Connie Southern answered, "We are still processing all of the evidence. At this juncture, it doesn't appear so but I saw that in generalized terms as again, we are still looking at all of the evidence and conferring with the State Bureau of Investigation  but it doesn't appear so at this point in time."

The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation is investigating this incident. Both officers were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure during an officer-involved shooting.

Both officers have attorneys, WFMY News 2's Morgan Hightower reports.

"The officers are instructed to... hold off on using their weapon but then once it's apparent they have to use it,  they are to use it until the threat is eliminated," explained David Freedman, Officer Ayers' attorney.

WFMY News 2 obtained criminal background checks for Plater and Ruth.

Plater has been convicted of charges including Assault, Trespassing, Possession of Stolen Goods, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell, and Carrying a Concealed Weapon. He was recently released from jail after serving a 13-year sentence for robbery, according to The NC Department of Public Safety.

Court documents show Ruth also has been found guilty on several charges including Communicating Threats, Trespassing, Resisting an Officer, Injury to Real Property, DWI and Carrying a Concealed Weapon.

Neither men have been charged for the incident that happened Friday. Police have not said what led to the traffic stop.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at (336) 727-2800.

WFMY News 2

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