On Thursday, March 9, at approximately 1:47 a.m., the State Highway Patrol responded to a traffic collision involving a vehicle in a ditch on NC 73 near Lowell Road in Albemarle (Stanly County). Upon arriving to the collision scene, the responding trooper observed the suspected driver involved in the collision to be in possession of a firearm in his waistband.
The member called for assistance and a deputy with the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene shortly after. The trooper and deputy attempted to take the suspect into custody, at which point the suspect fled on foot from the crash scene and fired multiple gunshots at law enforcement personnel. Responding officers returned fire and the suspect was struck. Authorities secured the suspect and began life-saving procedures until emergency personnel arrived. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency medical responders. The involved trooper and deputy were not injured.
Authorities have identified Ghassan Radwan Baba, 22, of Albemarle, NC, as the deceased in the shooting. Trooper Micheal R. McCormick is identified as the involved State Highway Patrol member and is a 4-year veteran stationed in Troop E, District 2 (Stanly County).
In accordance with agency protocol in any trooper-involved shooting, Trooper McCormick has been placed on administrative duty pending an internal investigation and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has been asked to conduct an independent investigation.
Further inquiries into this incident should be directed to the SBI due to their separate ongoing investigation.