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Officer on leave; suspect identified

Tim Greene

Timoth Greene

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The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

An off-duty officer who shot and killed a suspected shoplifter during a struggle Tuesday has been placed on administrative leave, authorities said, and the Goldsboro man who was killed has a history of shoplifting and theft convictions.

David Melton, 35, was identified Wednesday by the State Bureau of Investigation as the man killed outside of Academy Sports, 3428 S. Memorial Drive. The Greenville Police Department reported that Timothy Greene was the officer who shot Melton. 

Greene is a nearly 10-year veteran of the department and is assigned to the Neighborhood Patrol Unit, according to a news release issued by the department Wednesday afternoon. He was placed on leave with pay pending the outcome of the SBI investigation. This is standard protocol any time an officer is involved in a shooting, the department reported.

Police reported Tuesday that Greene was off duty about 3:30 p.m. when a bystander told him a man was shoplifting. Greene confronted the man outside of the store, identified himself and displayed his credentials, at which point a struggle ensued, police reported

The man attempted to attack Greene with a knife, the police reported. Greene, who was in close proximity to the suspect, was able to defend himself by drawing his firearm and shooting the man. He died at the scene.

Chief Mark Holtzman requested an SBI investigation. The police department also is conducting an internal investigation. Both are standard procedure, the department reported.

The SBI reported Wednesday that witnesses saw Greene confront Melton outside the store. The agency declined to answer questions about specifics such as video evidence, the number of shots fired, the weapon used and where Melton was wounded.

State Department of Correction records show that Melton was serving probation for a Dec. 12 shoplifting conviction in Beaufort County. His record lists 30 convictions dating back to 1999 for charges including breaking and entering, larceny, shoplifting, safe cracking, identity theft, possession of stolen goods and others. 

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