The driver of a stolen SUV faces charges in a vehicle chase that crossed three counties and four cities before ending in gunfire Thursday when Davidson County deputies shot and killed one of the passengers in the vehicle, according to the Davidson and Forsyth County sheriff’s offices.
Charles Justin Boothe, 31, of Winston-Salem is charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a law-enforcement officer and fleeing to elude, according to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. Boothe was being held in the Forsyth County jail Thursday night, with his bond set at $100,000.
His court appearances are scheduled for Monday and April 16.
More charges are pending, according to the sheriff’s office, which gave this account of the incident:
The chase began shortly after 3 a.m. on Lewisville-Clemmons Road when a Forsyth County sheriff’s deputy tried pull over a silver Mercedes-Benz SUV with three people inside for speeding. (The sheriff’s office didn’t say where that occurred on Lewisville-Clemmons Road.)
The driver didn’t stop, and the deputy gave chase.
The SUV had been reported stolen from Winston-Salem.
The pursuit headed east through Forsyth County into High Point, went from High Point to Greensboro in Guilford County, then south into Davidson County, going through both Thomasville and Lexington, according to Christina Howell, the public-affairs officer for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
At one point during the pursuit, Forsyth deputies used stop sticks — a tire-deflation device put in the roadway — and managed to slow the vehicle.
After the SUV went through Lexington, and continued to head south, Davidson County deputies took over as lead pursuers, with Forsyth deputies behind him.
The Davidson deputies eventually stopped the SUV in the Linwood community, near the intersection of N.C. 150 South and Old Salisbury Road.
The driver of the stolen Mercedes then tried to run over the Davidson deputies, according to the sheriff’s office.
Two Davidson deputies began firing at the SUV, killing one occupant and injuring another, according to the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office.
The injured person was taken to an area hospital for medical treatment for injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening, according to Davidson County sheriff’s Capt. Mike Burns. The SUV’s third occupant was taken into in custody.
Boothe is accused of driving more than 15 mph over the speed limit on eastbound Interstate 40 while fleeing from Forsyth County Deputy B.L. Baugus, the first to attempt to stop the SUV, according to an arrest warrant. Boothe also is accused of driving his vehicle toward Forsyth County Deputy A.S. Eason and almost hitting him, the warrant said. At the time, Eason was participating in the chase.
Burns said Thursday morning the he was not releasing the names of the deputies involved, the injured person or the person killed by deputies.
No deputies were injured in the incident, Burns said.
Burns declined comment on whether deputies recovered a gun from the stolen Mercedes.
The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating whether the use of deadly force was justified, a standard procedure in North Carolina. Both deputies who fired their guns are on administrative leave until the investigation is complete, also standard procedure.
Some Davidson County sheriff’s vehicles were damaged in the incident, but it wasn’t clear how many.
The police departments in High Point, Greensboro, Thomasville and Lexington, and the N.C. Highway Patrol aided in the pursuit.