DA finds no wrongdoing in police shooting
By Seth Thomas Gulledge
The Daily Reflector
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
An investigation into the death of an alleged shoplifter outside of Academy Sports in January found no wrongdoing by the Greenville Police Department officer who shot the man.
The Pitt County District Attorney’s office on Tuesday announced it had reviewed the case and would not file charges against officer Timothy Greene. The announcement also released several new details about the Jan. 2 death of David Allen Melton, including that he had been shot four times.
The release said Greene and his family were in the checkout line of the sporting goods store when Greene saw Melton, 35, attempt to exit the store with a cart of goods, triggering the store alarm.
After employees attempted to intervene with no success, Greene confronted the Melton, identified himself as a police officer and displayed his credentials, the news release said.
Melton jumped into the back seat of a waiting car and a struggle between the men followed. During the altercation Melton repeatedly made threats to the officer and told the female driver of the car to “taze” him, the release said.
As the vehicle began to move, Melton reached for a knife, prompting Greene to draw his service weapon and fire four shots at Melton. Melton died on the scene. Responding officers and crime scene investigators recovered a knife at the scene.
Greene was placed on administrative leave, and the police department requested the State Bureau of Investigation to review the incident and began an internal investigation.
Pitt County District Attorney Kimberly Robb’s statement reported her office found no criminal wrongdoing by Greene after a careful analysis of the SBIs findings.
She said Greene’s actions were justified and reasonably necessary due to the threat of imminent death or bodily harm created by Melton’s actions.
Public Information Officer Kristen Hunter confirmed Tuesday that Greene will return to his normal assignment. Greene is a nearly 10-year veteran of the department and is assigned to the Neighborhood Patrol Unit.
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.
At the time of the incident, authorities did not report the number of times Greene fired his weapon or details about the struggle with Melton in a moving vehicle. Race has not been a factor in the incident.
It is the first of two shooting deaths involving a police department officer this year.
The SBI is reviewing an April 1 incident at 757 Fox Chase Lane. Officer Antonio Webb responded shortly before 2 a.m. to investigate a report of a domestic-related stabbing.
Webb shot and killed 41-year-old Brian Bellamy who was attacking his girlfriend. According to details released after the incident, Webb fired on Bellamy outside the home as Bellamy approached Webb with a kitchen knife, ignoring commands to drop it.
Webb was wearing a body camera during the incident, and footage was handed over to the SBI.
Webb is on administrative leave.