Report says Medical Examiner believes stab wound, not gunshots killed Sylvester Demetrius Selby, family attorney issues statement contesting that finding

By on July 5, 2024

Demetrius Selby. (Credit: Wukela Communication)

A July 3 story by WVEC-TV says that the NC Chief Medical Examiner believes the cause of death for Sylvester Demetrius Selby, who was shot by a Dare County Deputy in October 2023, was a stab wound from the owner of a trailer he forced his way into before the shooting.

The story, based on the autopsy obtained by the Norfolk TV station, reports that “Selby’s stab wound is billed as the top ‘cause of death,’ with the aforementioned gunshot wounds again listed as contributing conditions.” The story includes a written note from the Medical Examiner stating that, “Given the investigative, autopsy and toxicological findings, it is my opinion that Mr. Sylvester Selby’s cause of death was due to a stab wound of the anterior left chest.”

The Oct. 2 shooting of Manteo resident Selby, 44, by Dare County Sheriff’s Deputy Edward Glaser III triggered both an investigation and a lawsuit. The lawsuit was brought last year by Selby’s family. On July 5, following the new WVEC report, Selby family attorney Harry Daniels released a statement contesting the Medical Examiner’s finding and declaring that, “Deputy Glaser’s bullets killed Sylvester Demetrius Selby, not the knife.”

About five months after Selby’s death, back on Feb. 21, 2024, the special prosecutor appointed to investigate the case, Chuck Spahos, concluded that the shooting of Selby by Glaser “was indisputably tragic, but it was not unlawful.”  Spahos said “that the force used by Deputy Glaser was authorized…to defend himself” and another officer at the scene from the “imminent use of deadly physical force by Mr. Selby.”

According to the account of events by Spahos, Selby was charging and lunging at the officers with a knife when he was fatally shot. Several days later, District Attorney Jeff Cruden, who had recused himself from the case, issued a statement firmly backing the actions of Glaser in that incident. Glaser is currently on active duty with the Dare County Sheriff’s Department.

Back on Dec. 7, 2023, Selby’s family—which was able to view body camera footage of the incident privately—filed the lawsuit naming Glaser, as well as Dare County Sheriff Doug Doughtie, as defendants. The claims being brought include a federal constitutional claim, Wrongful Death and Battery and Assault against the named defendants.

The suit contends that “At the time, Mr. Selby was shot and killed by Deputy Glaser, he posed no threat to law enforcement, others or himself.” It also brought a new element into the account of the incident, the statement that Selby was suffering from a stab wound to the heart at the time.

In the wake of the new reporting that the Medical Examiner found a stab wound as the cause of death, Selby family attorney Daniels released this statement.

“The reality is that, even after he had been stabbed, Mr. Selby was coherent enough to follow the deputy’s orders and exit the house. He was coherent enough to speak with them, to respond clearly and put his hands up. In fact, Mr. Selby was so coherent even after Deputy Glaser shot him once, that he felt the need to shoot him two more times and it was only then that Mr. Selby died laying on the ground choking on his own blood.

“The body camera video of the shooting speaks for itself,” the statement continues. “The Dare County Sheriff’s Office could put this argument to rest right now by releasing it.”

Update: Following the report that the NC Chief Medical Examiner concluded that a stab wound, not gunshots from a Dare County Deputy, was the cause of death for Sylvester Demetrius Selby, District Attorney Jeff Cruden responded to a Voice inquiry by stating that the person who inflicted the stab wound has been exonerated.

“We of course looked at the original altercation inside the home by the resident at the same time the actions of Deputy Glaser were being examined,” Cruden wrote in an email. “The actions of the deceased inside the home were very aggressive towards the resident as they were outside towards the Deputies. Unfortunately, the history of mental illness, coupled with the powerful drugs that we now know for sure Mr. Selby had taken, contributed greatly in Mr. Selby’s actions that evening. The actions of the resident were justified in protecting himself from injury at the hands of Mr. Selby.”

SEE ALSO: The Outer Banks Voice – No charges to be brought in fatal Selby shooting 

The Outer Banks Voice – Family of Sylvester Demtrius Selby files suit over his death; Dare Sheriff and Deputy named as defendants



Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).



Join the discussion