At a press conference held Sunday evening at the Public Safety building, Assistant Chief Connie Southern briefed reporters on an officer-involved shooting that occurred Sunday morning in which the suspect lost his life. Corporal D.W. Walsh, a bike patrol officer with 17 years of service, shot Montez Dewayne Hambric of Durham following a lengthy foot-chase that ranged from MLK Boulevard into downtown. Hambric died from his injuries later at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
The incident began at approximately 8:02 am when patrol officers with the Winston-Salem Police Department responded to the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Carl Russell Avenue on a reported automobile accident involving a single vehicle. Witnesses at the scene reported that a black male had fled from the vehicle immediately after the accident occurred and that the vehicle was otherwise unoccupied.
According to authorities, officers quickly determined that the vehicle had been reported stolen in Chapel Hill and broadcast a police lookout detailing the physical description of the suspect. Immediately following that, an officer located a subject matching the physical description of the suspect on foot in the vicinity of the automobile accident. The officer spoke with the suspect and began to question him about the wrecked car. While they were talking, the suspect bolted toward the downtown area. A foot pursuit ensued involving several patrol officers and the suspect.
Corporal D.W. Walsh, of the Downtown Bike Patrol Unit, eventually encountered the suspect in a small wooded area adjacent to the 500 block of W. 7th Street and attempted to take the suspect into custody. According to Corporal Walsh, the suspect physically assaulted him while he was attempting to take him into custody. Corporal Walsh fired a single round from his service weapon hitting the suspect and leaving him incapacitated. EMS was immediately dispatched to the scene. The suspect was rushed to Baptist Medical Center where he succumbed to his injuries shortly thereafter.
Detectives were able to positively identify the suspect as 26 year-old Montez Dewayne Hambric. Evidence located in the area in which officers initially encountered Hambric directly linked him to the stolen vehicle.
While investigators attempted to determine why Montez Hambric might have fled the accident scene, they discovered that in addition to the fact he was driving a stolen car, the North Carolina Department of Corrections informed them that Hambric is currently on parole for a 2009 robbery conviction in Kentucky.
As is standard practice, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations has assumed the investigation into the officer involved shooting. The Winston-Salem Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division will also be conducting the investigation into the automobile accident, the stolen vehicle and the assault on the officer. Per standard operating procedure, the Professional Standards Division will be conducting an administrative investigation into this matter. Assistant Chief Southern indicated that these investigation are in their early stages and considering the involvement of the SBI she take no question at the press conference.
Corporal Walsh has served in the Downtown Bike Patrol Division for approximately two years. He has been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation underway by the SBI, which is also standard practice.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Winston-Salem Police Department at 336/773-7700 or CrimeStoppers at 336/727-2800.