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DA: No charges for Hickory officers in Corner Pocket shooting
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DA: No charges for Hickory officers in Corner Pocket shooting

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Two Hickory police officers who shot a man accused of armed robbery and kidnapping will not face charges, District Attorney Scott Reilly said Monday.

Hickory Police Department Officers Josh Null and Richard Bortnick were put on administrative leave while the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation reviewed the non-fatal shooting of 42-year-old Gregory Ray Cribb, which happened near the Corner Pocket lounge on Sept. 30.

“After meeting with investigators with the SBI, reviewing bodycam footage from numerous officers and video tape surveillance footage from area businesses, it was determined that there was no criminal misconduct on behalf of any Hickory police officer,” Reilly said.

He said he could not provide any additional information because of the pending charges against Cribb.

Cribb is charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and second-degree kidnapping. He is being held at the Catawba County jail under a $65,000 bond.

An employee of a gaming arcade near the Corner Pocket said Cribb held her at gunpoint behind the arcade on the night of Sept. 30.

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She was able to distract him for long enough to run to the other side of the building. Three other employees chased Cribb down to the Corner Pocket.

When officers arrived they found Cribb behind a dumpster, according to a previous news release. The officers shot him when he made verbal threats and advanced toward police, according to the release.

At least 10 bullet holes were visible in the door and wall of the bar following the shooting.

Hickory Police Chief Thurman Whisnant said he got word of Reilly’s decision but has not received the letter Reilly’s office sent outlining his conclusion.

The officers are expected to come back on the job but exactly when that will happen is not clear.

Whisnant said he wanted to check on the status of the department’s internal investigation, which he said was likely nearing its end. He did not expect a different outcome with the internal investigation.

Whisnant also said they want to make sure the officers themselves are prepared to resume their work, adding that the officers had undergone a stress debriefing following the shooting.

“We’ll be bringing them back to duty as soon they are ready,” Whisnant said.

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