Gastonia Police on a killing spree
Besides the SBI’s investigation, Gaston police are conducting an internal investigation to determine whether all policies and procedures were followed.
The fatal shooting was the fourth by officers in Gaston County since Feb. 7. It was the first this year by the Gastonia Police Department, which patrols the county’s unincorporated areas and some small towns. The other shootings were by officers who work for the city of Gastonia.
Jan. 17 Gastonia police detective stopped at a convenience store shot and seriously injured a convicted murderer who was stabbing a night-shift clerk.
Officer Jeff Wooten, wearing his police uniform, walked into the store at 310 E. Long Ave. when he saw a man attacking the store clerk with a knife.
Feb. 7 family members asked officers to check the welfare of Howard Allen, a 74-year-old Army veteran who’d recently undergone heart surgery. Gastonia Police said they shot him in his Mary Avenue home when he refused to lower his gun because he thought the officer breaking in was a thief.
Feb. 17, a Gastonia police officer shot and killed Betty Sexton. Police say Dixon had called dispatchers asking officers to help her remove someone from her home. At some point, investigators say, Dixon retrieved a gun and was shot when she didn’t follow officers’ commands to lower it.