DA: Officers were justified in June checkpoint shooting


BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Brunswick County’s district attorney says officers were justified in using lethal force when they shot at a vehicle that tried to leave a DWI checkpoint in Leland in June.

DA Jon David made the decision based on a SBI investigation into the June 14 shooting on US 17.

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Investigators say officers from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and Leland Police Department fired at the vehicle driven by Antoine Lavar Graham. He and passenger Jerry Melvin were injured.

David determined the officers were justified, because Graham used his car as a deadly weapon against officers and civilians at the checkpoint.

In a news release, David said while he normally would describe in detail what happened, in this case he will not, because Graham is being prosecuted for felony assaults against many of the same officers who opened fire.

Graham is charged with multiple counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon on a government official and multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. David says as a result of evidence produced during the investigation, Graham will also be charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Graham was also wanted in connection with felony drug charges handed down by a grand jury in March.

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