UNC Student Shot, Killed By Police

A North Carolina police officer has shot and killed a college student from Texas after a confrontation in Archdale.

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

An S.B.I. spokeswoman says 21-year-old Courtland Benjamin Smith of Houston was killed. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student was shot by 29-year-old police officer Jeremy Paul Flinchum.

Authorities have not provided details on the confrontation. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is handling the case.

A spokeswoman for the school had no other details.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by The Wise One Location: NC on Aug 25, 2009 at 07:44 PM
    I have no evidence in front of me, but it appears that this may have been a prank gone wrong. If so, whoever orchestrated it made a terrible decision. Until there is stated evidence tracking the phone call to Smith's cell phone, I am under the impression that Smith was not suicidal.
  • by Lynn Location: Kinston on Aug 25, 2009 at 01:19 PM
    I am saddened by this tragedy, I went on-line to Houston Texas newspapers and this young man's mom had reported to them that her son was in a good mood prior to his death, he was with his best friend 3 hours prior to this happening. Anxious to find out more about this, something just don't pan out. My thoughts and prayers go out to all involved.
  • by Concerned Location: Greenville, NC on Aug 25, 2009 at 08:16 AM
    If this man was suicidal, why didn't 911 contact the rescue squad to assist and why didn't this policeman have any backup. For a person that's suicidal there has to be more enforcement instead of someone approaching this person alone.
  • by mac n chz on Aug 25, 2009 at 07:19 AM
    I ment no disrespect to family and friends of the young man who was shot. (Or to the young man) I know what its like to loose someone to "death by cop" My thoughts and prayers go out to them.
  • by Carol Location: Winterville on Aug 24, 2009 at 05:52 PM
    I am deeply saddened by the whole episode, and ashamed that people like Mac n chz even exist. What an classless, inconsiderate, cruel comment!
  • by UNC fan on Aug 24, 2009 at 04:38 PM
    I agree with Very Sad. Have a little respect.
  • by John Location: Greenville on Aug 24, 2009 at 03:35 PM
    That's part of my curiosity as to the situation. I know about the cop-suicide game, I also know that law enforcement is aware of it. I'll give the cop the benefit of the doubt that he made the right choice; but I have heard stories of police purposely using non-lethal shots when an individual is known to be suicidal.
  • by Very Sad Location: Chapel Hill on Aug 24, 2009 at 03:18 PM
    mac n chz: Your comment is just disgraceful. My son was friends with Courtland. This is such a sad and tragic story. I am ashamed that you are a Tar Heel fan. Please show some respect.
  • by mac n chz Location: currituck on Aug 24, 2009 at 11:25 AM
    I am just glad he wasn't a player on the basketball team. I KNOW its sad for me to say but GO TARHEELS!!
  • by Dan Location: Greenville on Aug 24, 2009 at 10:29 AM
    It's called "death by cop". People that are suicidal, but don't have the courage to kill themselves, usually find a way to threaten an officers life or someone elses, to get the police to kill them. Also people who have a religion that forbids them to kill themself. Sad really, when you make an officer take your life and then the officer has to live with it the rest of their life.
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