Britt has prior arrest record

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 23, 2006

MURFREESBORO – The victim of Saturday’s fatal shooting has a prior arrest record, including an assault with a knife.

Sammie Britt died Saturday morning after two Hertford County law enforcement officers shot him in an apparent attempt to defend themselves.

Murfreesboro police officer Larry Newsome and Hertford County Deputy Jessie Fennell shot Britt after the alleged knife-wielding suspect lunged at the two officers.

Britt pled guilty in 2003 to felony assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and was sentenced to 98 months probation.

Britt was arrested on October 19, 2002 for assaulting a man with a butcher knife and was originally charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill by inflicting serious injury and attempted murder.

Two years later Britt was convicted of felony probation violation.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate the incident per police policy and an autopsy was performed earlier this week, but results are still unavailable.

Meanwhile, Newsome and Fennell have been placed on administrative leave with pay, which is also policy after a shooting, pending the investigation.

The shooting occurred after Newsome responded to a call Saturday morning from Trade Mart on Main Street in reference to a customer disturbance. When Newsome arrived on the scene, he attempted to talk to Britt, but Britt struck Newsome with a pipe.

Newsome attempted to arrest Britt, but Britt refused to submit to the arrest. Newsome attempted to bring the suspect under control using pepper spray, but the spray was ineffective.

Deputy Fennell arrived on the scene and convinced Britt to surrender the pipe, but then Britt allegedly produced a razor blade knife. Attempts to bring Britt under control by using a Taser proved unsuccessful.

Once Britt allegedly charged Newsome, swinging the knife in a threatening fashion, Newsome fired. Then Britt turned and allegedly charged Fennell, forcing Fennell to defend himself by firing his weapon.