SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Police say a man who robbed a Salisbury bank, then led officers on a pursuit into Davidson County, has died from injuries he suffered after being shot by police.
The bank robbery happened at the First National Bank at the corner of E. Innes and Long Streets in Salisbury on Thursday afternoon just after 12:30, according to police.
After robbing the bank police say the suspect, identified Friday as Jerick Raheem Gray, took off in a small pick-up truck. A pregnant woman was in the truck with him, according to witnesses.
"The Salisbury Police Department will not violate her privacy by confirming or denying the type of condition for which she is being treated," officials said in a statement. "As officers are still investigating the circumstances of the robbery, the second person is considered to be a possible accomplice to the robbery, but may also be a victim as well. That investigation is ongoing to clarify what role or circumstances this person was in during the robbery. At this time, no additional information on that person's involvement will be provided until that investigation is completed, which may take considerable time to resolve."
Salisbury Police and Rowan Sheriff's deputies pursued the truck into Davidson County. They were joined by Davidson County deputies and Thomasville police officers.
Stop sticks were used to flatten the tires on Gray's truck. He then pulled into the parking lot of the Anderson RC Hobby Shop on Mendenhall Street just off Business I-85.
Police say Gray jumped from the truck and ran towards the front door of the business. One of the owners saw Gray and tried to stop him. He then reportedly stabbed the owner.
"My brother had came outside and I heard him, sounded like a distress call, I heard him call my name, so I came running to the front," said Matt Anderson.
Anderson and another man inside the store held the door as Gray tried to get inside.
"At that time my brother intercepted him, that's when he got stabbed…he went off to the side, the guy tried to come in the store, one of my customers and I both held the door, surrounded by cops…they had tasers out, guns out, they tasered him 2-3 times that I saw before they finally ended up pulling the trigger and shooting him."
A Salisbury police officer, identified as 27-year police veteran Officer Christopher Schenk, then shot Gray.
In a press conference on Friday Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes praised the actions of officers, saying they used restraint in dealing with Gray, until that was no longer possible.
"He has a knife, is displaying it in a threatening manner, has already stabbed somebody, he is using deadly force against a citizen, here we have two more people who are in a situation where they could have been taken hostage and who know what happen to them," Chief Stokes said. "They methodically, using their training, escalated what they had to do."
Gray was taken to the hospital but is now deceased.
The man who was stabbed should be OK and may be released from the hospital on Friday, according to family members.