DA: Detective justified in shooting of drug suspect

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Police, deputies respond to Burger King on 3rd St (Photo: Andrew James/WWAY)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) —  A detective with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office was justified when he shot a suspect during a drug investigation, according to a news release from New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David.

On June 27, deputies with New Hanover County Vice and Narcotics and the Gang Unit were preparing to arrest Rodney Hansley, Jr. in the Burger King parking lot on 3rd Street.

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During the arrest, Det. Matthew Bowie fired his gun and hit Hansley.

Shortly after the shooting, the district attorney and New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon, requested the assistance of the State Bureau of Investigation to examine the facts surrounding the actions of Bowie.

David said Sheriff McMahon also requested that the Wilmington Police Department take over the investigation that had created the initial encounter to determine the criminal violations that Hanlsey may have committed.



At that time, the WPD charged Hansley with the following:

  • Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell, or Deliver Heroin
  • Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell, or Deliver Cocaine
  • Maintaining a Vehicle for Keeping and Selling Controlled Substances
  • Sell and Deliver Heroin
  • Sell and Deliver Cocaine

At the time of his arrest, Hansley was on post-release supervision for Sale of Schedule I
Controlled Substance. He had allegedly absconded from this supervision by cutting off his ankle monitor.

Hansley was also charged with Interfering with an Electronic Monitoring Device.

Hansley is in the North Carolina Department of Correction.

Agents from the SBI have interviewed witnesses to this incident, reviewed physical evidence, and processed the evidence at the crime scene. That investigation is now complete and agents have shared their findings with District Attorney David and senior prosecutors from office.

They concluded that the actions of Bowie were justified and within the scope of his training.

Hansley is also being charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement.

Because Hansley is currently facing charges, the district attorney’s office can not comment on what exactly led to the shooting or provide full details of the case.

David said Rules of Ethics prohibits his office or a law enforcement agency from commenting on the specifics while the case is still pending. Until Hansley’s criminal case goes to court, prosecutors can not comment any further to avoid any undue prejudice to him and to protect the integrity of the judicial process.

Bowie is now able to return to work.