Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fraternity President Killed in Police Confrontation

DKE president shot to death
Killed by police near Greensboro
By Brian Austin and Andres Harrell, Senior Writers

Courtland Smith, a junior biology major from Texas and president of the UNC chapter of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, was shot to death by police early Sunday morning.

Smith was pronounced dead at 6:03 a.m. Sunday after being admitted to High Point Regional Hospital, said hospital spokesman Aaron Wall.

He was shot by police in Archdale, about 15 miles south of Greensboro, during a confrontation with an officer.

A news release from the Archdale Police Department states a Caucasian male in his early 20s was shot during a confrontation with police early Sunday morning on Interstate 85.

According to the news release, police stopped the individual’s car after he called officers to say he needed help and was suicidal.

Multiple sources, including Wall and his supervisors, confirmed that Smith is the person described in the police reports.

The incident is under review by the State Bureau of Investigation, which has instructed UNC administrators not to comment. SBI investigates whenever local law enforcement request assistance on a case.

“University officials can’t speculate about the case and have no additional details to provide at this time,” according to a statement from UNC News Services.

Members of the fraternity and UNC administrators gathered at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity house throughout the day Sunday to talk and grieve over Smith’s death.

Members and alumni of the fraternity on campus Sunday asked that their privacy be respected, but said they would have more information later this week.

Smith was well-known on campus and an active member of the Greek community. He graduated from Strake Jesuit College Preparatory, a private school in Houston.

University officials are meeting today with Student Body President Jasmin Jones to discuss ways to address the campus.

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Second officer present at Smith shooting

Both officers placed on administrative leave

By Andres Harrell Assistant University Editor

A second officer was present when junior Courtland Smith was shot Sunday near Greensboro.

Archdale Police Capt. Shannon Craddock said two officers responded to Smith's 911 call for help early Sunday morning.

Earlier today the State Bureau of Investigation identified the officer who shot Smith as Jeremy Paul Flinchum. Flinchum, who has been with the department since April 2008, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting.

Craddock said the second officer, who has not been identified, also has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Flinchum, 29, stopped Smith’s car on Interstate 85 in Archdale, about 15 miles south of Greensboro. Flinchum was responding to a 911 call from Smith, who told dispatchers that he was suicidal and needed help.

A press release Sunday from Archdale Police said the officer shot Smith after a confrontation.

The SBI is investigating the shooting, common in cases of officer-related deaths.

Earlier Monday, Chancellor Holden Thorp expressed his sadness over the death of Smith, a junior biology student from Texas, in an e-mail to students.

"There is nothing worse than losing a young person," Thorp said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as they grieve and cope with such a great loss."

Thorp pointed those who want to talk about the death to counselors who will be available in the Upendo Lounge of the Student Academic Services Building until 4 p.m. today.

UNC's Counseling and Wellness Services also have walk-in hours every day from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thorp also directed students towards the Office of the Dean of Students, at (919) 966-4042.

http://www.dailytarheel.com/content/dke-president-shot-death
http://www.dailytarheel.com/content/officer-named-smith-shooting