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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The District Attorney has cleared a New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputy of any crimes after he shot a suspect last month.

District Attorney Ben David said he sent a letter to the SBI yesterday after getting the SBI’s report on the incident involving Dep. Joshua Cranford. In the letter, David said Cranford “is lucky to be alive.”

Cranford returned to duty last week after a Sheriff’s Office internal review also found no wrongdoing. He had been on administrative leave after shooting Darius Hester on Rockhill Road in Castle Hayne Aug. 16.

David’s letter says Cranford and a witness said the deputy only fired after Hester first tried to use his own weapon. David ruled Cranford “used an appropriate amount of force in response to the set of circumstances that Mr. Hester set in motion.”

Hester is charged with attempted murder.

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