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Wake County Deputies Shoot, Kill Mental Patient Following High Speed Chase & Fight

Officials say that law enforcement in Wake County shot and killed a mental patient who escaped from custody, and led them on a high speed chase.

Affiliate WNCN reports that according to Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison, 35-year-old Jonthan Cunningham got into a scuffle with a deputy who was transporting him Sunday morning. Cunningham had been involuntarily committed to the Wake Crisis Center and was being transferred to Old Vineyard Behavioral Health in Winston-Salem.

Officials say that Cunningham was in the front passenger seat and began to fight deputy Jeremy Pittman in the vehicle. That fight then continued outside of the vehicle onto I-440 near Lake Boone Trail.

Pittman is said to have slipped in the mud during the fight, which allowed Cunningham to get away in Pittman’s vehicle.

Law enforcement would spot the vehicle near the NC State Fair Grounds later that morning and began chasing him on I-40 Westbound and then onto I-540.

Speeds would reach around 80 miles per hour according to officials before Cunningham would lose control of the vehicle and crash near Leesville Road. He would then run from the scene.

Cunningham would get about 300 yards before fighting with two members of the Wake County Sheriff’s Office, according to Sheriff Harrison. Officials say shots would then be fired, killing Cunningham at the scene.

Deputies Matthew Johnson and Dusty Mullen have been placed on administrative duty following that shooting. No law enforcement officers were injured during the incident.

The SBI is investigating.


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