Names released in deadly officer-involved shooting at Greenville Aldi Grocery Store

Published: Oct. 24, 2019 at 3:36 PM EDT
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Police late Friday afternoon released the names of those involved in a deadly officer-involved shooting in Greenville on Thursday.

The man killed by police has been identified as 53-year-old Michael Babcock, of Winterville.

Police say Babcock was harassing customers at the Aldi Grocery Store on East 10th Street shortly before 3:00 p.m. Chief Mark Holtzman says Officer Brian Neague encountered Babcock who had a gun.

Babcock was shot and killed by Officer Neague, Holtzman said.

An innocent bystander, Walter Murphy, 79, of Greenville, was also hit by the gunfire. Police said he was treated and released later that evening from Vidant Medical Center.

Police also released 911 and police radio calls related to the shooting that provide more details about what happened.

"I wonder if you might be able to send someone to maybe talk to a drunken upset man outside my store right now," a woman who is believed to be an Aldi's manager told 911.

"He is beyond drunk. I don't know how he made it in and out of the store but now he's harassing people in the parking lot a little bit. Even one of my cashiers when she tried to leave. He has an American flag bandana and he's sitting right outside the carriages (shopping carts) right now."

"He's yelling about us not having real beer and stuff. I thought he was just going to leave but now he's hanging out around outside talking nasty stuff to all my customers."

On the police radio calls released, an officer is heard being dispatched to Aldi and then five minutes later asking for help.

"Greenville, shots fired, shots fired. 10-33. Aldi's, East 10th Street. 10-33." 10-33 is police code for send help immediately.

Officer Neague has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol. The SBI has been brought in to investigate the shooting.

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A man who police say was harassing customers at a discount grocery store was shot and killed by a Greenville police officer while a bystander was wounded.

It happened just before 3:00 p.m. at the Aldi Grocery Store on East 10th Street, across from the Walmart.

Video from the scene shows a body covered in a white sheet between two vehicles in the parking lot at the front of the store.

Greenville police say the initial call said a white man in his 50s was being aggressive to customers in the parking area of the store. As an officer approached they encountered the man with a gun, according to police.

The officer shot and killed the armed man, while a bystander was struck by a bullet and was taken to Vidant Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Chief Mark Holtzman says it appears the innocent bystander was struck by gunfire from the officer. He said there were several customers inside the store and that the shooting happened in between two parked cars.

"There were other customers inside the store and in fact, there were a few that were witnesses to the incident, that were very close to the scene," said the chief. "This took place on the parking lot outside the store and in between a couple of parked cars so there were other witnesses around."

Police say the officer, a nine-year veteran of the department, was not injured and that the SBI is investigating the shooting.

A gun has been recovered at the scene, according to officers. Chief Holtzman says the officer has been placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.