Greenville Police Release Video Of Deadly Traffic Stop

Nearly eight months after a deadly officer involved shooting happened in Greenville, police today released surveillance video.

John Wainwright was shot and killed by Corporal Scott Johnson just minutes after police say he robbed the Rite Aid Pharmacy across from Pitt County Memorial Hospital.

Johnson was cleared by an internal probe and an SBI investigation showed it was a justified shooting.

In the video released today, you first see from Rite Aid surveillance video an armed Wainwright come into the pharmacy and leave with drugs. Then a dash camera from an arriving Greenville police cruiser shows Wainwright being ordered to the ground in the parking lot of ECU Neurosurgical and Spine Center.

Police say the suspect got out of his truck on his own and officers ordered him to the ground. In the video you can hear officers giving instructions to Wainwright, trying to get the man to face away from them before they would approach him.

As time passes, Wainwright is seen getting up and lunging into the truck where the drugs and the gun used in the robbery are located. Corporal Johnson then approaches the truck and you can hear four quick shots being fired.

WITN, as well as other news media, had requested the video right after the shooting happened. Police say they finally released it today after the SBI probe was completed and the actual video was returned from the District Attorney's Office last month.

Johnson returned to duty less than a month after the shooting.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 19, 2011 at 01:04 AM
    i just don't see how anybody could think taking a live is justified in any situation. As you all could clearly see just as i could when that last cop pulled up the "suspect" was lying on the ground why didn't they just go ahead and arrest him them or use their tazor gun when he first tried to get up. From what i heard about the young man we was going thru some things just like everybody else and yes his actions can not be justified but to kill him i just don't agree. There had to be another way. But sadly we will never know....
    • reply
      by JD on Dec 19, 2011 at 06:12 PM in reply to
      "i just don't see how anybody could think taking a live is justified in any situation." Uh, it has been said that self defense is one of the primary laws of NATURE. Don't believe me? Walk up to a big grizzly bear and start punching it in the head. Go ahead. I dare you! :) If someone is trying to kill you, do you serious bodily harm, or in NC sexually assault you, lethal force is justified.
  • by 40some on Dec 16, 2011 at 08:12 PM
    Why would they show the video? If this were to become a civil case, will there be an untainted juror left in that county now? The cop doesn't deserve to be put through that. This guy got the prescription he needed. A few shots followed by a long nap.
  • by smh Location: greennille on Dec 16, 2011 at 06:51 PM
    Just one question. What was the reason for showing the murder of a man on TV? This story was already burried in the archives and now it was brought back with an explanation as to why the officer shot the man. Who cares? The officer got a pat on the back for saving lives and a man lost his life,
  • by Me Location: Williamston on Dec 16, 2011 at 05:52 PM
    If "reporting" was only for the stories justified as in "good taste", "reporting" would be a bit biased. Don't ya think? LOL
  • by Disbelief Location: Winterville on Dec 16, 2011 at 05:27 PM
    Sir/Madam, the man who did the crime is dead. Public opinion of if this was right/wrong/justified etc is a nonissue because he is still dead. The only people this video hurts at this point is the family. If you think this video deters other criminals your kidding yourself. I understand the police action and I am not condoning the actions of the man who robbed the pharmacy. I do, on the other hand have some respect for the people he left here and the fact they have to have this put in the public court of opinion again. I am sure it is hard for them to manage without a bunch of varied opinions being spewed on this site. As far as this being justified as "reporting" that does not make it in good taste.
  • by Unimportant Location: Greenville on Dec 16, 2011 at 12:26 PM
    I know this is about the killing of a robber, but I think a sub-story should be told about the huge problem of people becoming addicted to prescription drugs... it's getting worse!! Where are the stories about that?? Everyone is so worried about illegal drugs but no one seems concerned about the narcotics being prescribed everyday to people that don't really need them. This is something that hit very close to home over a year ago. I realized then how many people are becoming addicted... but again, no one seems to notice or care and it's not even a new issue!! How many robberies and overdoses have to occur before it's taken seriously??
  • by REALLY!?! on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:50 AM
    Judging by the video they should not have shot and killed this man. I mean really he was in the truck so his back was toward the officer. Why didn't he just use his taser....they use them for everything else. Sad that we have idiots to so called "protect and serve" us...SMDH!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 16, 2011 at 11:38 AM in reply to REALLY!?!
      REALLY!?! YOUR THAT STUPID???
    • reply
      by What on Dec 16, 2011 at 12:03 PM in reply to REALLY!?!
      Really don't go into LE because would might or will get hurt. What he was going for was a gun. The old say don't take a knife to a gun fight. In your case Really do that and see what happens
    • reply
      by JD on Dec 17, 2011 at 05:21 AM in reply to REALLY!?!
      Well, I think it is safe to say that this guy wasn't going to his truck to get tea and crumpets for the officer. They knew the guy had a gun, and they knew he had just used to threaten an innocent citizen. He dives into this truck after disobeying orders to surrender. Again, I don't think he was going to the truck to show the officer is new crochet needles. Also, many departments have rules of engagement for the use of tasers. Typically, they are used as a team weapon with another officer backing up the one using the taser. You only get one shot with a taser, and if you miss if and you don't have a second officer right there "with your back", it could be fatal. Also, when your life is in immediate danger (the perp possess the ability, opportunity and intent to do harm), deadly force is authorized. That goes for private citizens too.
    • reply
      by Law Abiding Citizen on Dec 17, 2011 at 09:41 AM in reply to REALLY!?!
      The guy was going for a gun! The office had every right to shoot this CRIMINAL. That officer puts his life on the line for public safety and whne hos life was threatened he protected himself. I personally think every citizen has the right to protect themselves from danger.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:31 AM
    Glad to see the video. It helps to clarify just what happened. One does not have to or need to look at this website if they don't want to. The people deserve to be informed.
  • by B B O on Dec 16, 2011 at 10:15 AM
    GREAT JOB OFFICER, the officers life was in danger and he did what he had to do to protect himself and others (meaning you and me) from a violent act. Good job officer! Give this man a raise for putting a violent criminal 6 ft in the ground faster than any judge could.
  • by Tired of these criminals Location: greenville on Dec 16, 2011 at 09:43 AM
    Thank you WITN for posting this video. I think more videos should be posted. Someone must stop the criminal element in society. I am tired of these criminals getting away with crimes and then my hard earned money puts them in prison to be taken care of. I am tired of folks thinking that stealing, threatening with a gun, and disobeying a direct order from a police officer after you committed a crime is okay! We have a large gang element in Greenville and these officers never know what they are dealing with when they approach someone like this criminal. The Police protected society as required. The criminal was a threat to society.
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