Driver dies after being shot by Union Co. deputy, was accused of hitting patrol cruisers

The grandmother of the man’s children claims her daughter and her young grandchildren, ages 1, 2, and 4, were sitting in the car when the deputy opened fire.
The grandmother of the man’s children claims her daughter and her young grandchildren, ages 1, 2, and 4, were sitting in the car when the deputy opened fire.
Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 1:53 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 21, 2022 at 11:30 AM EDT
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MONROE, N.C. (WBTV) - A suspect who was shot by a Union County Sheriff’s deputy Tuesday evening in Monroe has died, authorities said.

According to the Union County Sheriff’s Office, the man was pronounced dead Thursday afternoon by medical professionals.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation identified him as 30-year-old Malcolm Trieste Staton.

The UCSO said one of its deputies shot a man at the Sunny Food Mart on Walkup Avenue before 8 p.m. during a traffic stop on March 15. The deputy was uninjured.

Related: Authorities: Driver shot after hitting three Union County Sheriff’s cruisers during attempted traffic stop

According to the sheriff’s office, deputies were trying to initiate a traffic stop, but the driver didn’t comply and took off.

Authorities say in an attempt to run from deputies, the driver hit three patrol cruisers. That’s when officials say a deputy fired at the car, hitting the driver

At the time of the shooting, several people were inside the vehicle, but only the driver was struck, authorities said.

WBTV spoke with the grandmother of Staton’s children. She says her grandchildren, all under the age of 5, were sitting in that car and could have been shot.

“It’s such a great possibility that they could not be here. That they could be hit, that they could be killed. It could’ve gone so many directions,” Cindy Hailey said.

Hailey is the grandmother of Staton’s children and says this incident could have been even deadlier. She claims her daughter and her young grandchildren, ages 1, 2, and 4, were sitting in the car when the deputy opened fire.

“They literally sat there and watched their father’s brains be blown out of his head and then in the way of fire. And then the trauma that it caused to them, we don’t even know the long-term effect that it’ll have,” Hailey said.

Hailey says she was there for the aftermath, in the parking lot of the Sunny Food Mart on Walkup Avenue

“Did that require this level of aggression that you would use deadly force with children in a car under the circumstances? Those are the questions I need answered,” Hailey said.

She says her grandchildren continue to have nightmares about the shooting. Hailey says she collected the childrens’ car seats from the SBI Friday.

“I’m just so thankful that they need their car seats today. Do you know what I mean? I’m just so thankful, it just could have went so many directions,” Hailey said.

While the grandmother says the children were in the car, the SBI has not released any information about who was in the car at the time.

WBTV will be following up with investigators for more details on this situation.

As is standard protocol, the sheriff has requested the NCSBI to conduct an independent investigation. All deputies involved have been placed on administrative leave per protocol, according to the sheriff’s office.

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