Officer who shot UNC frat president placed on leave

Courtland Smith (Daily Tar Heel photo)
Courtland Smith (Daily Tar Heel photo)

ARCHDALE, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina police officer has shot and killed a college student from Texas after a confrontation in Archdale. The officer involved in the shooting has been taken off  patrol duty, officials said Tuesday.

Archdale police say the student was shot after a confrontation following a traffic stop on Interstate 85 south of Greensboro Sunday around 5 a.m. A police report states the student first telephoned police and "indicated that he was suicidal."

The mother of the University of North Carolina student who was shot and killed by police says her son was in good spirits just hours before police said he called 911, saying he was suicidal.

A state police spokeswoman says 21-year-old Courtland Benjamin Smith of Houston was killed. Smith was shot by 29-year-old police officer Jeremy Paul Flinchum, officials said.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Tuesday that Susan Smith, the mother of Courtland Benjamin Smith says her son and his best friend were together at 2 a.m. Sunday.

Smith was a junior majoring in biology and the president of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity at UNC Chapel Hill, according to The Daily Tar Heel, the university's student newspaper.

A spokeswoman for the school had no other details.

Archdale Police Chief Darrell Gibbs says the officer who shot Smith has been placed on administrative leave with pay. The State Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the shooting, which is standard procedure for shootings involving a law officer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.