Witnesses dispute police account of chase that led to fatal crash in Gaston County

Image 1 of 2

Witnesses and police have two very different stories about a police chase that ended with one man dead and another seriously hurt, but the man officers were pursuing is facing charges tonight.

The Gaston County Police Department states their officers were chasing Joshua Soule who, they say, was speeding and driving erratically near West Rankin Road around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.

"They know what happened. They need to speak the truth. The police hit that man," a Gaston County neighbor told FOX 46. 

Authorities say Soule hit two pedestrians as he was trying to flee, killing one of them, but witnesses in the area dispute that.

RELATED: Man facing charges in wreck that killed pedestrian in Gaston County

"The first car flew past us and hit the boy in the yard, and the police literally came like two seconds after him flying, and as soon as he flew past, he came, he hit the tree. I watched him hit Shawn in the yard, I seen him hit the other boy and he kept going," Jamia Reynolds said. 

Reynolds isn't the only one who with that account.

"First car hit the boy, but the boy was still alive and the boy was trying to make it out the road. Then the police hit my uncle in the trees and the ran the boy over and kept going," said Domiono Smith, Shawn Smith's nephew.

"He didn't even swerve after he hit him. He went straight through. The police car hit him and he ran over the boy who was already hit by the previous gold car," neighbor Dayanna Walker said. 

That man, who friends call ATM, died of his injuries. The other man, Shawn Smith, is recovering in the hospital.

"He's coming through. My uncle Shawn, he coming through. He pulling through," Smith said. 

Police have charged Soule with DWI, fleeing to elude and second degree murder. FOX 46 requested both the 911 call and any dashcam video from all police cruisers involved in that chase.

Gaston County police responded on Tuesday, saying "There is no dashcam video, we do not have in car cameras in our vehicles regarding the police chase."

Police say there is body cam footage from that night, but say they are not releasing it to the public. The 911 call has not been released at this time.