KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. -- The man shot and killed by police officers during a high speed chase early Thursday morning has been identified.
Kings Mountain police said two of their officers, Officer Tate and Officer Bryant, shot and killed the chase suspect near a church parking lot off Branch Street. The suspect was later identified as 26-year-old Matthew Whitley.
The chase began in Gastonia when a Gastonia Police Officer began pursuing a vehicle believed to be associated with a hit and run. The Gastonia officer pursued the vehicle into York County, South Carolina and then back into North Carolina where authorities from Gaston County Sheriff's Office, Gaston County Police, Bessemer City Police, the North Carolina Highway Patrol and Kings Mountain Police made attempts to stop and secure the driver.
During the chase, Officers Tate and Bryant "engaged" the driver outside of the vehicle in the area of Branch Street in Kings Mountain, authorities said.
According to the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation, the two officers fired their weapons, fatally wounding Whitley.
This is an ongoing investigation. The SBI said they were able to recover the body camera footage of the two officers involved in the shooting as well as the dash camera footage from the multiple agencies involved. SBI Agents will present the case and facts to the District Attorney upon completion.
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