Durham officer shoots robbery suspect in face

Durham police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that happened early Wednesday morning at the McDonald’s restaurant at 3117 Tower Boulevard.

McDonald's robbery and shooting

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Durham police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that happened early Wednesday morning at the McDonald’s restaurant at 3117 Tower Boulevard.

Officers responded to a robbery in progress at the restaurant shortly before 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Someone from inside the McDonald’s bathroom called 911 to report the robbery.

“What are you saying? He’s trying to rob the McDonald’s?” the dispatcher asked the caller.

“Yes,” replied the caller.

When officers arrived, all the lights in the business were off, but officers noticed movement inside.

“He tried to hurt me. Hurry,” the caller told the 911 dispatcher.

Officers entered the business and saw a male with his arm around a female employee’s neck. The suspect repeatedly threatened to kill the employee, according to a preliminary investigation.

PHOTOS: Durham officer-involved shooting and robbery

Police later identified the suspect as Dennis Lawrence Palm Jr., 26, of Durham.

After a brief standoff, an officer fired one shot, striking the suspect in the face. Palm, who was conscious and alert, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The female employee was not injured.

The officer, Sgt. Glen Price, has been placed on administrative leave with pay, which is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting. Chief Jose Lopez said during a new conference Price is an “experienced” officer.

The Durham Police Department confirmed Price has been on the force since 1995.

The incident is being investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation. The Durham Police Department’s Professional Standards Division and Criminal Investigations Division are also investigating the incident, which is also standard procedure.

Durham police said the McDonald’s involved in Wednesday’s shooting has been the site of other robberies in the past.

In January 2008, the restaurant was robbed and a common-law robbery occurred at the business in July 2008.

Police said the business was also robbed in January 2013.

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