Man Dies in Police Custody

RALEIGH -- On Sunday, May 10 Chief Willie L. Tillery, Jr. of the Enfield Police Department requested the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to investigate the in-custody death of Michael Tyrone Gallagher, 55, of Midlothian, Virginia.

On Saturday, May 09, at approximately 11:04 p.m., EPD Lt. Jerry Powell, 52, responded to the 100 block of Whitfield Street in Enfield regarding a breaking and entering in progress at a local business. Once on-scene, Powell encountered Gallagher. After a confrontation, Powell and a witness became engaged in a physical altercation with Gallagher. During the confrontation, Powell’s taser was deployed and contacted Gallagher.

Powell and the witness were able to restrain Gallagher in handcuffs. Halifax County EMS was dispatched to the location for assessment and treatment of injuries to all three individuals. EMS found Gallagher unresponsive and he was immediately transported to the Halifax County Medical Center where he was pronounced dead on Sunday, May 10. The cause and manner of death are undetermined at this time.

Powell and the witness were treated at the HRMC for injuries. Powell has been placed on paid administrative leave pending investigation.

An autopsy will be conducted on Gallagher. The SBI’s investigation is on-going. Anyone with information regarding this incident are encouraged to contact the SBI at 1-800-334-3000.


Contact: Teresa West
Phone: (919) 582-8511