FOREST CITY — Police responding to reports of a suspicious man waving a handgun shot the suspect early Thursday morning.
Joey Edward Towery was shot at least once in the torso, possibly twice since he had two wounds. He was treated on scene by Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services before he was taken to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center. As of Thursday afternoon, his condition was unknown, according to Forest City police Chief Christopher LeRoy.
“I’m certainly glad no one else was injured,” LeRoy said.
Around 7:30 a.m. Forest City police responded to a call about a man waving a handgun in the area of 248 Pine St. Upon arrival on the scene, officers encountered the man, later identified as Towery, and attempted to interact with him. During that time, Towery refused to comply with the officers’ commands to show them his hands. Towery then placed his hands in the waistband area of his back and continued to refuse to comply with commands to show the officers his hands. As Towery began to move his hands from his waistband, officers fired their weapons. Officers shot because they feared for their and the community’s safety, a release issued by the police department stated.
Three officers were involved in the incident. All have been assigned to administrative duty while the State Bureau of Investigation conducts an independent probe into the shooting, which is standard procedure for an officer-involved shooting.
The desk assignments mean the police department will have three fewer officers for patrol during the SBI probe.
“I have offers from other agencies to help out if we need it,” LeRoy said.
Investigators remained on the scene well into Thursday afternoon, blocking part of Pine Street from traffic.