January 21, 2021
On Thursday, January 21, 2021, Officers with the Forest City Police Department responded to a call for service in the area of 248 Pine Street. The call for police services was regarding a suspicious male in the area waving a gun.
Upon arrival on scene officers encountered the individual, later identified as Joey Edward Towery, and began to attempt to interact with him. During the interaction Mr. Towery refused to comply with the officer’s commands show them his hands. Mr. Towery then placed his hands in the waistband area of his back and continued to refuse to comply with commands to show the officers his hands. As Mr. Towery began to move his hands from his waistband officers fearing for their safety and the safety of the surrounding community were forced to discharge their weapons. Mr. Towery was struck at least one time in the upper torso. At this point officers called for emergency medical support and began to administer first aid until emergency medical support arrived.
Mr. Towery was treated on scene by Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services and transported to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center for treatment. No other injuries to any involved parties were reported.
Currently the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is conducting an investigation into the shooting and the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave pending that investigations outcome.
Both the independent investigation by the NC SBI and the placement of the officers on administrative leave is standard procedure in an incident of this type.