Suspect threatened to shoot police during Fayetteville standoff, chief says

Patrick Earl Gatson

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Fayetteville police confirmed three officers were involved in a shooting incident during a standoff Thursday that left a 32-year-old man dead.

Patrick Earl Gatson died after being shot at the end of the standoff on Sycamore Court, Police Chief Anthony Kelly said.

No police officers were injured in the incident, authorities said.


Police attempted to contact Gatson, 32, earlier Thursday morning in connection with warrants for common law robbery and felony possession of stolen goods. Gatson refused to open his door, sparking the standoff.

Gatson had a rifle, but it isn’t yet clear whether he fired at officers, Kelly said. Officers fired both less-than-lethal rubber bullets and standard rounds at Gatson.

Kelly said Gatson threatened to shoot officers during the course of the standoff.

When police told Gatson to put his weapon down, he replied that officers would have to kill him to end the situation, police officials speaking after the incident said. Some officers on scene were equipped with body cams. That footage is being reviewed.

“When the shots were fired, I mean the sister screamed and fell to her knees. It was pretty devastating to watch,” said neighbor Tara Aquino.

Members of Gatson’s family were on scene with police during the standoff.

The State Bureau of Investigation confirmed that it has been asked to investigate the shooting, as is standard in such cases.

The three officers involved are on administrative leave.

The names of the officers involved are Officer Joseph Delpizzo, 44, Officer Aaron Hunt, 28, and Officer Shawn Collins, 42.

Delpizzo and Collins have been with Fayetteville police for just under 20 years each. Hunt is a seven year veteran of Fayetteville police.

The scene is still closed which means four families are displaced.

The common law robbery occurred on March 14 along the 700 block of Ramsey Street, police said.

CBS North Carolina will update this story as it develops.

RELATED: Man killed in Fayetteville police shooting

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