Autopsy: Police shot Durham man in head

— A man fatally wounded by Durham police during a struggle two days before Thanksgiving died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to an autopsy report released Wednesday.

Test results also showed Frank Nathaniel Clark had cocaine, methadone and oxycodone in his system, the report states.

Master Officer C.S. Barkley, Officer M.D. Southerland and Officer C.Q. Goss were patrolling the area of Wabash and Dayton streets on Nov. 22 and struggled with Clark, who they said reached for his waistband as they spoke with him near a building in the McDougald Terrace housing complex, according to a preliminary investigation by Durham police.

During the struggle, the officers heard a shot, Southerland fell to the ground, and Barkley fired his duty weapon in response, the report said.

Clark, 34, was pronounced dead at the scene. Southerland was taken to the hospital by ambulance for treatment of his injured leg.

The autopsy report states that Clark was shot above the left ear and in the right thigh.

Witnesses have disputed the police account that Clark was armed and posed a threat to the officers, but a loaded handgun was found on the ground next to him, according to the police report.

The three officers have been placed on administrative duty, pending the outcome of a State Bureau of Investigation review of the case.

A special thank you to our friends at WRAL for helping out with this post.

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