Shoplifting Escalates, 1 Stabbed, Officer Injured by; Rick McCann

Wilmington N.C. Nov. 1, 2007

What started as a petty shoplifting at Wal-Mart ended with the stabbing of an assistant manager, an injured police officer and the theft of a police vehicle on Tuesday, police said.

Shawn Lacy Thompson, 47, is charged with two charges of assault with a deadly weapon, robbery and larceny of a motor vehicle.Thompson has previous convictions for crimes that include larceny, speeding to elude arrest, receiving a stolen vehicle, assault on a female, breaking and entering and burglary.

About 11:17 a.m., a man shoplifted three DVDs from Wal-Mart at 5226 Sigmon Road, police said.Wal-Mart employees tried to apprehend the man in the parking lot, but it wasn't until the man cut himself trying to scale a barbed-wire fence on the edge of the property that two assistant managers caught up with him, said Wilmington police spokeswoman Lucy Crockett.While a 30-year-old assistant manager restrained the suspect, the other one called 911.In the process, the suspect stabbed the 30-year-old assistant manager in the arm and leg, Crockett said. The assistant manager was taken to the hospital with puncture wounds, she said.Calls began to flood the 911 center as witnesses reported the incident. One witness briefly followed the suspect, providing a description to dispatchers, Crockett said.

The suspect ran away and was later spotted by a plainclothes officer near Miller-Motte College. The police officer, Christopher Mayo, 31, a five-year member of the police department, jumped out of his unmarked vehicle and tried to stop the suspect. The suspect overpowered the officer, hopped into the car and started to drive away. The vehicle contained a weapon and ammunition that were not easily accessible to the suspect, Crockett said.The police officer tried to prevent him from driving away, injuring his wrist, Crockett said.She said most marked squad cars are equipped with an anti-theft device, but that his vehicle was not."Officers are frequently in situations where they jump out of the vehicle," she said. "In patrol, they leave the car running but they have anti-theft devices."The suspect drove the police vehicle to Princess Place Drive and Manly Avenue where he hit a fire hydrant, ditching the vehicle in a wooded area.In this case, Mayo had a "description of a violent person and he spotted the person," she said. "His first concern was to try to get the guy, and it's unfortunate that it got so dangerous."

The suspect then ran into a nearby apartment in the 400 block of Henry Street where he was staying. Neighbors notified police where to find him and officers finally were able to subdue him and transport him to the city jail where he is being currently being held.

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