District Attorney David Learner releases statement pertaining to the officer-involved shooting in Burke County
NEWTON, NC (August 24, 2017)…On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, Mr. Jeffrey Andrew Jacobs, 42, was shot in Burke County by a Deputy from the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.
The shooting occurred while the Deputy was responding to a violent domestic quarrel at a mobile home park on U.S. Highway 70 West not far from Dysartsville Road.
The purpose of my review was to examine whether the shooting of Mr. Jacobs was lawful or unlawful.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) investigated the above-referenced officer-involved shooting. The SBI expended a considerable amount of time interviewing witnesses to the shooting, photographing the scene and collecting items of physical evidence. The entire event was captured on dash camera video from the Deputy’s patrol car. That video also was collected and reviewed.
I have been furnished information obtained by the SBI investigation and met with the SBI agents who conducted this investigation.
The law enforcement statements, reports from civilian witnesses, photographs and physical evidence were all consistent with the events depicted in the dash camera video from the Deputy’s patrol car.
After a review of all the evidence in this case, the following facts are apparent:
· Mr. Jacobs was engaged in a violent domestic dispute with his wife in the yard of the mobile home where they were staying.
· During the domestic quarrel, Mr. Jacobs kicked at his wife, who cut him on the leg with a box cutter just prior to the Deputy’s arrival.
· Mr. Jacobs was armed with what appeared to be a rather large handgun.
· Mr. Jacobs repeatedly pointed the handgun at his wife and at the Deputy.
· The Deputy, through verbal commands, repeatedly attempted to de-escalate the situation.
· Mr. Jacobs’ wife, through her continuous shouting and refusal to obey the Deputy’s orders, further escalated the situation.
· The Deputy demanded more than 30 times that Mr. Jacobs drop the gun. Mr. Jacobs pointed the gun directly at the Deputy prior to the Deputy firing a single shot that struck Mr. Jacobs in the chest, fatally wounding him.
· Preliminary toxicology reports indicate that Mr. Jacobs had methamphetamine in his body along with an appreciable level of alcohol.
· After the shooting, it was determined that Mr. Jacobs’ gun was a very realistic looking CO2 pellet gun.
The law of North Carolina recognizes the principle of self-defense, which is the inherent right to use deadly force to protect one’s self or others from death or great bodily harm, which was exactly what the Deputy reasonably believed under circumstances that were tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving.
Based upon applicable law and the facts as reported by eyewitness accounts, corroborated by the photographs and other physical evidence, it is my conclusion that the Burke County Sheriff’s Deputy acted lawfully in shooting Mr. Jacobs on August 21, 2017.