William Dean Poole
Family members and neighbors say William Dean Poole was a gentle man who served his country, but also lived with post-traumatic stress disorder.
They’re having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that William Dean Poole was shot by Gaston County Police Officers Monday evening. Officers responded to the home on Wedowee Lane after they got a report from the Veterans Crisis Hotline that Poole could harm himself or others.
The crisis hotline reporter told police that Poole said he planned to kill himself and “not to send anyone to his residence because it would not end well,” according to the official report.
The caller also told police that Poole had been “walking around the previous two nights with a .357 handgun.”
5:25 p.m., four Gaston County police officers arrived at the home and found Poole sitting on a lawnmower in his yard. The officer approached Poole, who they say pulled out a firearm and fired multiple times.
The four officers returned fire, fatally wounding Poole. The officers were not injured.
Neighbors who witnessed the shooting told WBTV they saw Poole raise his hand, but that they didn’t see him shoot at police.
Neighbor J.C. Dowell said he witnessed the shooting from his front porch a few yards away. He said he is confident that he never saw Poole fire any shots.
Gaston County Police: Veteran shot, killed by officers after suicidal call
Veteran shot, killed by Gaston County Police