30 rounds fired, 'fecal matter' thrown and Molotov cocktails used: Report details deadly shooting of man outside Raleigh police station

14 May 2022

— Raleigh police officers fired 30 rounds in the shooting death of a man who they say targeted officer vehicles and assaulted officers with Molotov cocktails, according to a preliminary report issued Friday by the Raleigh Police Department.

Around 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, Reuel Rodriguez-Nunez, 37, entered the police department’s Southeast District parking lot on Rock Quarry Road in a silver van.

“Nunez exited his vehicle and threw what was believed to be fecal matter and urine towards the entrance to the police station,” the report states. “Shortly thereafter, Mr. Nunez set two vehicles parked in the lot on fire using incendiary weapons, commonly known as Molotov cocktails.”

Then, Rodriguez-Nunez removed a gas can and unknown container from the passenger area of the van, according to the report. It states he then placed several white cups on the parking lot pavement and poured liquid into them.

Rodriguez-Nunez is accused of throwing three cups of the liquid at a police vehicle. The report states Rodriguez-Nunez also threw a Molotov cocktail at an officer while he was in his patrol vehicle. The officer stayed in his vehicle, but backed it away from the scene.

Three officers responded to the scene to assist with the situation. One of the officers repeatedly told Rodriguez-Nunez “don’t do it,” don’t do any more,” “don’t do it” and “don’t do it, bro.”

The report states the officer who had been in the vehicle returned on foot, letting the dispatcher know Rodriguez-Nunez had a knife in his pocket. It states the officer tried to deescalate the situation by speaking with Rodriguez-Nunez without his weapon drawn and asked him, “What’s going on, man?”

The report said Rodriguez-Nunez could be heard saying to officers, “Today … is my day … to … move on.”

A parked police vehicle was already on fire, and officers heard a “loud, explosion-type sound.” A fire was growing in intensity underneath another parked car, the report states.

Raleigh police said a man threw Molotov cocktails at them on May 7, 2022.

The officers slowly approached Rodriguez-Nunez, issuing commands. When Rodriguez-Nunez lit a Molotv cocktail and began to throw it in one of the officers’ direction, all four officers fired their weapons. The Molotov cocktail “narrowly” missed the officer because he moved out of the way.

The report found the incident lasted about 6 minutes.

Officers carried Rodriguez-Nunez away from the burning cars and tried to give him first aid until ambulances arrived.

Paramedics arrived to care for Rodriguez-Nunez, and the Raleigh Fire Department put out the fires.

The police department placed the four officers involved in the May 7 shooting on administrative leave, standard procedure when an officer fires a weapon. The report does not name them, but states the officers are assigned body-worn cameras. Security cameras and dash cameras from marked patrol cars also captured the encounter. The department plans to petition for the release of those recordings, according to the report.

Detectives with the Raleigh Police Department also found Rodriguez-Nunez’s van and his physical description matched those of a person who attempted to set fire to gas pumps on May 6 at a Capital Boulevard convenience store.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is conducting a criminal investigation into the May 7 shooting and will present a completed investigation to the Wake County District Attorney for review. The Detective Division of the Raleigh Police Department is conducting a separate investigation.

Raleigh police vehicle burned

A background check shows Rodriguez-Nunez has several past convictions, including:

  • Driving while intoxicated and reckless driving in 2015

  • Maintaining a dwelling for controlled substances in 2019

  • Misdemeanor assault on a government employee in 2020

This is a developing story. Refresh the page for the latest information.

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