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Man shot dead after setting cars on fire

A man who was throwing Molotov cocktails and setting cars on fire in North Carolina has been gunned down by police, officers say.

Officials claim the incident began after a man was seen starting fires in vehicles in a car park north east of Charlotte on Saturday afternoon.

The officer who first saw the apparent arson incident near a district station in Raleigh at around 1.20pm (6.20 pm UK), then called for back up, according to force chief Estella Patterson.

Three other officers came to help, she said, and the man was ordered to stop.

But he is said to have continued to throw Molotov cocktails, and launched one near to an officer.

Ms Patterson continued: ‘Multiple officers then discharged their weapons and the individual was struck multiple times.’

She could not immediately clarify how many shots were fired or how many times he had been hit – but added that the incident was captured on active body cameras and CCTV outside the police station.

Raleigh Police say they then moved the man away from two vehicles that had become engulfed in flames and attempted life-saving efforts.

The man, who was not immediately identified, was rushed to a local hospital but died.

Photos showed a police vehicle with what appeared to be a blackened and heavily damaged engine bay being towed away but Ms Patterson did not elaborate on which cars were damaged.

Police work on Rock Quarry Road by Olde Birch Drive, near a police station, in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, May 7, 2022. Raleigh police said a man died earlier in the day after four police officers shot him outside the station. Police officers shot him after they saw him throwing Molotov cocktails at vehicles in a parking lot near the police station and ultimately tossing them near responding officers, Chief Estella Patterson said at a news conference. (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP)
Officers shot the man near a Raleigh Police station (Picture: AP)

She said an investigation is ongoing and more details of the shooting would be released in a report in coming days.

The police chief also thanked firefighters for their quick response and putting out the flames.

The FBI was notified about the incident and the investigation’s findings will be submitted to the Wake County district attorney.

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