Man Dies in Shooting Involving Wilmington Police

MARCH 3, 2006 -- Authorities say a man has died after a shooting involving Wilmington police officers. The shooting happened at the 800 block of Martin Street near the Good Shepherd Ministries.

Workers with the ministries say they saw the man in the woods with a gun.  That's when they called police. When officers arrived, shots were fired and the man was hit.

Good Shepherd Ministries workers say they are familiar with the man.  They say he had cancer and had threatened to commit suicide before. The organization released this statement Friday afternoon:

"Good Shepherd Ministries is deeply saddened by today's events.  In the last week, a terminally ill man sought food and emergency shelter with us in the final days of a long battle with cancer.  Staff and homeless guests alike formed a quick bond with him and attempted to offer him assistance and encouragement, even as he refused to seek further treatment for his advanced medical condition.  Sadly, his physical deterioration appears to have led to a desperate option for ending his suffering.  We thank the Wilmington police officers who worked diligently to bring the situation to a peaceful end, and ask that you keep the terminally ill in your prayers, that instead of loss and desperation they might know peace and comfort."

The man's name has not been released.  Officers will only say he is a white man in his 40's.

The officer who fired the fatal shot is on administrative leave. State investigators have been called in to make a final report. Both steps are routine in cases like this.

Reported by Nicole Ferguson