Autopsy: Man killed by Durham police was shot in back

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — An autopsy report obtained by CBS North Carolina shows a man fatally shot by Durham police on Feb. 15 suffered gunshot wounds to his back and right leg.

Kenneth Lee Bailey Jr., 24, was shot and killed around 2:15 p.m. when three Durham police officers attempted to arrest him on Glenbrook Drive.

The officers, who were wearing tactical vests with “POLICE” on the front and back, knocked on the home’s front door. A five-day report released in February by the police department stated that four people were in that residence, including Bailey.

Kenneth Lee Bailey Jr.

The report says Bailey ran from the home from a side door and across the street.

One of the officers told 911 dispatchers they were in a foot chase. Around 20 seconds later, an officer radioed “I’ve got shots fired. I’ve got a man down” and requested EMS.

Officers said they performed CPR on Bailey, but EMS pronounced him dead at the scene.

According to the autopsy, Bailey was shot in the upper left thorax and right lower leg.


The bullet entered Bailey’s back, went through his left lung, the wall surrounding his heart, his aorta, and his right lung. The hollow point bullet ended up lodged in his right shoulder, the autopsy showed.

The trajectory of the bullet that struck Bailey in the back was rightward, upward and frontward.

The bullet that hit Bailey’s right leg fractured his right tibia and fibula and came from a rightward, downward and slightly frontward direction, according to the autopsy.

Two bullets from previous shootings were also found lodged in his back and left hip.

Durham police, as well as two witnesses to the shooting, stated that Bailey was armed during the foot chase.

A witness told investigators they saw “Mr. Bailey throw a black gun back toward the street.” Another person told police “that the officers had asked the suspect to drop his weapon several times before the officers fired their weapons.”

A third person told police three shots were fired, the five-day report showed.

Police said Bailey pointed a handgun at them before he was shot and killed.

A .45-caliber handgun was located by officers near Bailey’s body. That gun was reported stolen in December 2016, the report says.

Bailey’s cause of death is listed as homicide on the autopsy.

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