WALLACE, N.C. (WITN) – An autopsy shows a man shot and killed last year by a Wallace police officer had PCP in his system.
James Lanier was shot outside the Express Mini Mart back on February 24th.
District Attorney Ernie Lee said the naked man had been inside the store bothering customers, spitting on a clerk, and trying to fight with people.
Lee said outside cameras showed Lanier at first pushing the officer who backed up and then tased the man. The taser appeared to have no effect. The D.A. said Lanier continued to advance on the officer, swinging at him. The officer pulled out his gun, continuing to back up, Lee said.
The two men ended up on the ground and Lanier was shot once. The D.A. ruled in May that there would be no charges in the case.
Lee says toxicology results from Lanier’s autopsy that just was released showed he has elevated levels of phencyclidine, or PCP. He said PCP is a mind-altering drug that could cause hallucinations, distorted perceptions of sounds, and violent behavior.
He said the pathologist who did the autopsy said the amount of PCP in Lanier’s system could cause aggressive behavior, and in some cases that level could be toxic.
The autopsy also said the man had THC in his system, which is found in marijuana.
Lanier’s family lashed out after Lee announced his decision in May with a civil rights attorney later asking that police release the video footage related to the man’s death.
After the results of the toxicology report were made public, Wallace Police released the following statement on it’s public social media page:
Choices. We all have them. We implore you to make good ones. This incident could have been avoided had Lanier not made a series of bad choices on February 24, 2023, forcing an officer to make a decision none of us ever want to make. This article highlights those choices and summarizes the recently released toxicology results. We hope this latest evidence puts this case to rest and allows the families of those affected, and our community, to move forward together