GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY - Saturday, June 21 will mark one year since the shooting spree in Greenville that injured five people, including the alleged gunman.
Greenville Police said it all started at about 11:44 a.m. on June 21, 2013, when Lakim Anthony Faust shot 64-year-old Timothy Edwards, a Geico insurance adjustor, at the parking lot of the Kellum Law Firm on Greenville Boulevard.
Faust was armed with a pistol-grip shotgun containing bird shot, police said.
Faust then allegedly shot three more people at the parking lot of the nearby Walmart, said police. Those victims were 70-year-old Carroll Oakes, of Grifton, 69-year-old Vernon Leggett, of Greenville, and 50-year-old Haywood Whichard, Jr., of Greenville.
All four victims survived the shooting spree and were released from Vidant Medical Center. But some of the men suffered severe and potentially life-altering injuries, investigators said.
"That could have been a disaster of international proportions because of the availability of victims and his willingness to inflict damage on our community," recalled Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden on Friday.
Chief Aden said when police cornered Faust, they told him to drop his weapon, but he opened fire on the officers. Police then shot Faust, but he continued to resist arrest, forcing officers to approach him using a cruiser, said Aden.
Indictment documents state that Faust shot and injured the victims because of their "race, color, religion, nationality, or country of origin." Faust's trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. 20, 2015.
To prepare for future active shooter situations, Greenville officers are now using a new training system.
"While we got a lot of notoriety for our response and that training that lead to that response, we will never miss an opportunity to learn how to do something better," Chief Aden said.
It's called the Jedburgh Target System, a smart phone-controlled training tool that simulates combat situations. Chief Aden said it enables officers to learn how to communicate with other officers and deal with individuals who are wearing body armor.
The training system cost about $45,000. The Greenville Police Department is the only police department in Eastern Carolina to utilize this type of training.