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US man fatally shot after throwing Molotov cocktails and setting cars on fire

Officers have shot and killed a man who was throwing Molotov cocktails and setting cars on fire near a police station in the US state of North Carolina.

The confrontation began after an officer observed a man lighting vehicles on fire in a parking lot near a district station in Raleigh, some 150 miles north east of Charlotte, at around 1.20pm (6.20pm UK), Police Chief Estella Patterson said. The officer called for assistance and three other officers came to help, she said, and the man was ordered to stop. Ms Patterson said the man continued to throw Molotov cocktails, ultimately tossing one near an officer close to him.

“Multiple officers then discharged their weapons and the individual was struck multiple times,” Ms Patterson said. Police then moved the man away from two vehicles that had become engulfed in flames and attempted life-saving efforts. He was rushed by paramedics to a hospital but died. He was not immediately identified.

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Body cameras were active, as well as cameras outside the police station that captured events, Ms Patterson said, adding she did not have any immediate information on the number of shots fired or how many had struck the man. She thanked firefighters for arriving quickly and putting out the flames.

Although the chief did not elaborate on the vehicles burned, news photographs showed a police vehicle with what appeared to be a blackened and heavily damaged engine bay being towed away. Ms Patterson said an investigation is ongoing and more details of the shooting would be released in a report in the coming days.

The FBI was notified in keeping with department policy and the investigation’s findings will be submitted to the Wake County district attorney.

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