JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Jacksonville Police and the NC State Bureau of Investigation are working together in an officer-involved shooting incident that happened Tuesday evening.
Jacksonville police reported officers saw a vehicle passing other vehicles in the center turn lane just before 5 p.m. Officers then saw the vehicle make a u-turn in front of oncoming traffic. Police turned on their lights and siren and attempted to stop the vehicle. A short case ensued with the vehicle being chased crashing on White Street off Huff Drive.
Officials said there was an armed encounter where an officer shot a person who was a passenger in the vehicle. The person, who was not identified, was transported to Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, where he died.
One additional weapon was found at the scene of the crash, police said.
Wednesday morning, Jacksonville Police Chief Michael Yaniero and District Attorney Ernie Lee gave statements about the incident and where they were with the investigation. They said one officer, who was not identified, was placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.
“This is a tragedy for all involved,” Yaniero said. “We understand and appreciate the public’s concern whenever an officer is faced with the difficult split-second decision to defend their self and others against an armed subject.
“Police work is difficult. Officers are faced with decisions they must make to protect the public and there are times when an officer is faced with no other option but to use deadly force.”
That’s when the SBI was called in to assist in the investigation.
“Chief Yaniero and I have requested that the State Bureau of Investigation investigate this matter,” Lee said. “Once I get that evidence, those reports, I’ll review the same, I’ll meet with the SBI. And then I will release my findings publicly.”
Jacksonville police said more information will be released when available, in accordance with state law.
“We understand that the public wants to know more and that is why we are moving quickly to gather all the facts,” Yaniero said. “Our most professional response is to take the time to obtain all the facts.”