Wednesday, 20 March 2019 14:07

Man accused of shooting at off-duty officer during vehicle break-ins

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Timonte Purvis, of Bennettsville, South Carolina, is accused of shooting at an off-duty police officer the morning of Feb. 9. He is facing multiple charges in Richmond, Scotland and Cumberland counties, as well as Marlboro County, South Carolina. Timonte Purvis, of Bennettsville, South Carolina, is accused of shooting at an off-duty police officer the morning of Feb. 9. He is facing multiple charges in Richmond, Scotland and Cumberland counties, as well as Marlboro County, South Carolina.

ROCKINGHAM ― A man with pending criminal charges in two states is facing an attempted murder charge for allegedly shooting at an off-duty police officer.

Investigators with the Rockingham Police Department say Timonte Purvis, of Bennettsville, South Carolina, fired shots at an officer during a wave of vehicle break-ins last month.

In the early morning hours of Feb. 9, Purvis and five other men ― Jalen Quick, Bobby Pearson Jr., Majuani Jackson, Devine Revels and Jakob Slade ― were breaking into vehicles in the Farmstead Court neighborhood, according to investigators. 

Two of the victims were law enforcement officers ― one of the Rockingham Police Department, another with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Based on the call coming in around 1:33 a.m., investigators believe the men started their alleged crimes about a half-hour earlier.

The RPD officer, who was still awake, received an alert on his phone that there was motion outside his home, according to investigators. He checked out front of his home and saw no activity. However, when he went around back, he saw two individuals.

(Note: The Richmond Observer knows the name of the officer but is withholding it at the request of the department.)

When the officer yelled out at the individuals, at least one of them fired two to three shots in his direction, investigators say.

He then went back inside and grabbed a personal firearm, not his department-issued weapon, and went back out to confront the suspects when they again began firing. Investigators say the officer returned fire.

Neighbors reported hearing around 40 shots of at least two different calibers.

The officer then saw several suspects, including the original two observed, pile into a pickup truck and leave the scene.

One bullet during the exchange struck a neighboring home, according to investigators, who believe there were multiple shooters ― one of them being Purvis. Police are still waiting on a ballistics report to determine the source of the bullet.

No one was injured during the shoot-out.

Detective Lt. George Gillenwater said the incident was treated as an officer-involved shooting and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation was called in. The officer was cleared of any wrongdoing by both the department and the SBI.

Based on home-security footage, investigators suspect the six may be responsible for three previous break-ins in the area.

The getaway vehicle is also believed to have been a Ford F-150 stolen from Aberdeen, which was recovered in Gibson.

Purvis was arrested Feb. 25 by agents with the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, deputies with the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office and officers with the Pembroke Police Department, according to a Facebook post from the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigative Unit.

Purvis was booked into the Cumberland County Jail on more than 100 charges just from that county. Because of policy, he has not yet been served warrants from other counties.

The RPD has charged Purvis with one felony count each of: attempted murder; assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill; possession of a firearm by a felon; discharging a firearm to incite fear; possession of a stolen motor vehicle; and conspiracy.

He is also charged with three felony counts of attempted breaking and entering of a motor vehicle; two counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle; and one misdemeanor count each of larceny and discharging a firearm in city limits.

Purvis is also facing charges in Hamlet for allegedly stealing a Honda Ridgeline from Terry Street on Feb. 10. Investigators say the vehicle was recovered by the Laurinburg Police Department following a chase — with someone else driving it.

Prior to his arrest, Purvis was out on bond from pending charges from the Bennettsville Police Department and has warrants from the Marlboro County Sheriff’s Office for second-degree burglary and failure to stop for blue lights.

Investigators arrested three of the suspects — Pearson, Revels and Jackson — in Laurinburg on Feb. 20. The youngest of the group, 17-year-old Jakob Slade, was arrested the following day.

Quick turned himself in to the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office on March 13.

Online court records show Rockingham Police charged Quick with four counts of attempted breaking and entering of a motor vehicle; and two counts each of breaking and entering a motor vehicle and misdemeanor larceny.

The six are believed to be responsible for more than 50 incidents in Scotland and Cumberland counties alone. 

All agencies involved in investigating these cases are as follows: Rockingham, Hamlet, Laurinburg, Aberdeen and Fayetteville police departments; Richmond and Scotland County sheriff’s offices; SBI; FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives; and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina.

Federal indictments are possible.

“It’s amazing to see how quickly all this came together,” said Gillenwater. “It really was a group effort with everyone involved. There’s a lot of information sharing with everybody.”

Rockingham Police are still investigating to determine the other shooter(s) and if the six have ties to other break-ins.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is not pursuing charges against them.

All defendants facing criminal charges are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 20 March 2019 17:47