Mayor Dana Outlaw criticized over handling of double fatal shooting

NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw is receiving backlash on how he handled the shooting deaths of a police officer and the man who investigators said killed him.

Mayor Outlaw attended the funerals of both Officer Alexander Thalmann and the man police say killed him in the line of duty, Bryan Stallings. The shooting happened on March 28 in the area of Craven Terrace.

During Tuesday's first Board of Aldermen meeting since the death of Officer Thalmann, three people spoke out against the mayor and the city's handling of the events.

"Going as far as to say you are a Christian- because you went to a cop killer's funeral, [which] is a huge disgrace to every man slash woman of the blue,"  said New Bern resident Eric Whitehurst.

"You owe an apology to everyone. But I'm also aware, you're not going to get it," said Laura Heckman, of New Bern.

"There is a void in leadership right now, and the city can do better than this," said resident Steve Long. "I will echo that quote, Mr. Mayor. Resign."

(LISTEN HERE: Residents speak out against Mayor Outlaw.)

Mayor Outlaw and at least one more city official showed support for both families last week. Mayor Outlaw discussed his decision with NewsChannel 12.

"I was there to start the healing process. I know it's hard for a lot of folks and I know it's going to be hard," Mayor Outlaw said. "I know many people are not going to be able to forgive. I have to, as a leader of the city, offer out that forgiveness. If I don't start it, who is going to?"

(LISTEN HERE: Mayor Outlaw explains his decision.)

The mayor has also received a number of emails and Facebook posts that are critical of his choices, including some calling for his resignation.

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