WSPD officer shot in struggle with suspect

WSPD officer shot in struggle with suspect

Winston-Salem police officer Nicholas Wayne Powell was shot by a suspect on Jan. 4 during a routine traffic stop.

Powell, 27, was shot multiple times; however, he sustained non-fatal injuries and is now recovering. He was in stable condition in the hospital, and has since been released. 

Powell has served on the force for five years now. According to Winston-Salem Police Department (WSPD) Chief Barry Rountree, Powell did not fire his weapon.

Walt Unks/Winston-Salem Journal
Walt Unks/Winston-Salem Journal

WSPD officer Adam Gardner pulled over a car for speeding around 2 a.m. on eastbound I-40 near Lowery Street.

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Upon speaking to the three passengers, Gardner found that the car smelled of marijuana. He called in for back up, and during the search of the car, one of the passengers, Gary Giovan Lynn, 26, attempted to drive away.

Powell, who had arrived as back up, reached through the driver side window and grappled with Lynn, attempting to keep Lynn from putting the car into drive.

However, Lynn was successful in moving the vehicle about one thousand yards down the road. Powell was dragged along beside the car, and during the struggle

Lynn pulled out a handgun and fired multiple shots at Powell.

Lynn was also shot, although it appears to have been from his own gun. He was brought to the hospital with Powell in stable condition and is now recovering as well.

Lynn appears to be a convicted felon, whose priors included weapon violations and robbery — therefore, he was not supposed to be carrying a firearm.

According to public records, Lynn was convicted of common law robbery in 2010.

He also appears to have charges pending in Wake County, N.C., of failing to stop, driving while his license was revoked and speeding.

The dates for these hearings are set for later in the year.

Following the events of Jan. 4, Lynn has been charged with attempted first degree murder, felonious fleeing to allude arrest, and illegal possession of a firearm because of a felony. He is currently in police custody.

As reported by the Winston-Salem Journal, the driver of the car, Diyancey Laselle Ladson, 23, is being charged with speeding in traffic court.

The third passenger who has not been identified by the police appears to have no charges pending against him. It is still unclear where the car was headed and why.

All the passengers in the car that was pulled over, including Lynn, were black, while Powell is white.

The past year has been fraught with controversy over police brutality and race relations, but the nature of this incident does not appear to have incited controversy within the Winston-Salem community, especially since both parties survived the shooting.

Furthermore, according to Rountree, the entire incident was captured on a police body cam, although the footage has yet to be released to the public. 

The WSPD has not released the records or police report yet, as the incident is still undergoing investigation.

Given that an officer was shot, the public records of the investigation are locked until closure of the investigation.

The WSPD was also unavailable for comment on the events that transpired given the sensitive nature of the investigation.

The Wake Forest University Police Department also did not comment, since they are currently uninvolved in the investigation.

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