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FBI says gangs may be targeting Wilmington police

WILMINGTON (AP) — The FBI says a gang may be targeting Wilmington police after a shooting death last month.

The StarNews of Wilmington reported that FBI has sent a memo to police chiefs in North Carolina saying the gang may be targeting officers after the Oct. 13 shooting death of Brandon Devone Smith by two New Hanover County sheriff’s deputies and a federal agent.

Smith was shot three days after investigators say he shot and wounded a sheriff’s detective. Michael Spencer is recovering after being shot in the leg. A Wilmington police detective who was with Spencer when he was shot and who returned fire is on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

The FBI says Smith was a member of the Blood Nation gang.

The State Bureau of Investigation last week concluded Smith’s shooting was justified.

The FBI memo says members of that gang are committed to shootings in Wilmington.

Wilmington police say gang members have in the past followed officers after they left their command posts or the courthouse.

The sheriff’s office would not talk about the FBI memo.

“It is standard practice for the FBI to share information with our law enforcement partners. In this case, the report was sent directly to law enforcement agencies to provide situational awareness,” said Shelley Lynch, an agency spokeswoman. Lynch said she could not elaborate on the memo.



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