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Man dies almost a month after trading gunfire with officers, Locust police say

37-year-old Michael Angelo Gales passed away on June 22, 2022. On May 31, police say he shot at officers during a traffic stop.

LOCUST, N.C. — Nearly a month after the Locust Police Department said officers exchanged gunfire with a man during an attempted traffic stop, the department now says the man injured in the shooting has now passed away.

On May 31, 2022, officers say they tried pulling over 37-year-old Michael Angelo Gales after multiple alleged traffic violations. Police said Gales finally stopped his convertible near Meadowcreek Village Drive and Whispering Hills Drive, but reportedly opened fire on officers and forced them to return fire. Gales was hit and then taken to a hospital for treatment.

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Before his passing, the department said Gales was in critical condition at a hospital. He passed away just before 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

Locust Police said they still cannot share the name of the officer involved in the shooting with Gales, and will not do so until the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has finished its own investigation. The officer remains on paid administrative leave until the SBI has wrapped up. 

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Both the withholding of the officer's name and administrative leave are part of the department's policy.

The department also noted its officers are equipped with body cameras and will confirm the camera was activated during the shooting. An ongoing criminal investigation against Gales is now closed due to his death.

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