Navy Veteran Killed by Police - Witness say his hands were up

Neighbor J.C. McDowell

Family members and the community are still reeling from the death of a man they say served his country and his neighbors.
William Dean Poole had lived in the Wedowee Lane mobile home park south of Gastonia for almost 30 years. He was shot to death by police responding to what they described as a psychiatric call.

Officers were called to Poole’s residence at 130 Wedowee Lane, south of Gastonia, by the National Veteran’s Hotline which the man had called expressing a plan to commit suicide. The caller told the operator Poole had mentioned owning guns, had talked about “taking out others before himself,” but had urged the hotline not to send police, saying it “would not end well.”

Officers said they arrived to find Poole sitting on his riding lawn mower in his front yard. After police identified themselves and began approaching, the officers claim he pulled out a gun and opened fire. Four unidentified officers shot back, killing the man.
Neighbor J.C. McDowell who lives across the street from Poole is telling another story however. He says after officers approached Poole, they ordered him to put his hands up.McDowell says he could see Poole start to pull his arms up, and that’s when they fired. “I just can’t get that image out of my head,
Jeff Poole says his uncle talked frequently about his time in the U.S. Navy.
“He served his country with honor, and that’s all he ever talked about,” he said. “And for this to happen is such an eye-opener to what this country has come to.”
More disturbing is the fact that this is the 3rd police shooting in Gastonia, NC, 19 miles west of Charlotte.


In early February, another NC war veteran was shot and killed by a Gastonia police officer when the officer forcible broke into his home to preform a welfare check after concerned family members called police worried because the 74-year-old had just underwent surgery. 

In late February, Gastonia Police shot a mother of two after she called them for help removing unwanted guests from her home.

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