Prosecutors: Oak Island motel shooting justified, no charges filed

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Ocean Crest Motel shooting (Photo: WWAY)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — No charges will be filed in a weekend shooting at an Oak Island motel that sent a Greensboro man to the hospital.

According to a news release from the Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office, Bryan Lopes, 39, of Lincolnton was justified when he shot Paul Dodson, 47, on October 20 at the Ocean Crest Motel.

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“After consultation with our law enforcement partners from the Oak Island Police Department and a review of all available evidence, including witness statements, photographs, and video surveillance footage from the motel… Lopes was legally justified in using deadly force under the ‘defense of habitation’ doctrine,” the release states.

Lopes told investigators that on the night of the shooting, he and his wife were asleep in their first-floor motel room when he was awakened by a loud disturbance outside his room.

Lopes, believing that someone was attempting to break into his motel room, retrieved his  handgun from the nightstand beside the bed. He walked to the motel door and peered through the peephole to investigate the disturbance.

As he was looking through the peephole, the door, which was locked and bolted, flew open, hit Lopes and knocked him against the wall.

Lopes called 911 the night of the shooting and told the dispatcher a similar story.

Prosecutors say Lopes observed someone moving towards the bed where his wife was sleeping. Lopes fired a shot and hit Dodson in the shoulder.

Dodson and three friends were also guests at the Ocean Crest Motel. Prosecutors say he and the friends had gone to dinner and a bar where they drank significant quantities of alcohol.

The group returned to the motel just after midnight where they engaged in horseplay just outside of Lopes’ room. At one point, Dodson leaned against the door of Lopes’
motel room. One of his friend’s shoved him in jest without enough force to destroy the door jamb and to throw Lopes against the wall. Dodson then staggered in the direction of the bed until he was shot.

As of now, Dodson remains in the hospital in stable condition.