DURHAM: Man shot in head by Durham officer had stolen rifle - KCTV5

Man shot in head by Durham officer had stolen rifle

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Police investigate an officer-involved shooting in the 1500 block of Mathison Street in Durham. Police investigate an officer-involved shooting in the 1500 block of Mathison Street in Durham.
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. -

The rifle being carried by a man shot in the head Wednesday by a Durham police officer was stolen in 2013 from a Hillsborough home, deputies said.

Cayetano Castro-Merino, 21, was shot in the head in the 1500 block of Mathison Street in Durham after police said he refused to put down his gun after officers responded to a shots fired call.

Officers were dispatched to the home around 2:17 a.m. in response to a disturbance involving a gun. Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said a caller claimed that a man had shot at two people with a child.

Lopez said when officers arrived, they located Castro-Merino, who was standing in a doorway with a rifle.

Officer Brian K. Johnson, with the Durham Police Department, commanded Castro-Merino to put down his gun. When Castro-Merino failed to put down his weapon, Johnson realized that he did not speak English and repeated the commands in Spanish.

When Castro-Merino again did not obey the officer's order, Lopez said Johnson shot him in the head. Lopez said it appears Johnson shot him one time.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said Friday that the rifle that Castro-Merino was holding at the time of the officer-involved shooting was stolen Jan. 17, 2013, from a home on Orange Grove Road in Hillsborough.

Deputies said the gun was a Smith & Wesson MP15 .22-caliber camouflage rifle.

Johnson, who's been with the department since November 2003, has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

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