ROXBORO, N.C. (WNCN) – A Person County deputy who fatally shot a man to save three hostages in April 2021 acted lawfully, an SBI Special Agent and the Person County District Attorney’s Office announced in a report on Thursday.
The Person County deputy, who has not been named, was being investigated for the last eight months after she fatally shot Jackie Cameron Capps Jr. on April 2, 2021, in a home in the 1300-block of Clay Long Road in Hurdle Mills just before 10:15 p.m.
According to the sheriff, 911 dispatchers received a hang-up call from a phone located at the address and neither dispatchers nor his deputy knew what, if anything, was going on at the location.
However, upon arrival, the deputy said that quickly changed. Upon extensive investigation, it was confirmed the deputy took all appropriate procedures to determine the scene, and people involved, were in immediate danger, the report said.
The SBI and the district attorney’s office said they evaluated the deputy’s procedures to determine if “the shooting (was) reasonable under the circumstances at the time of the fatal shot,” “the facts and events in each case, including the severity of the crime at issue, whether the suspect pose(d) an immediate threat to the safety of the officer or others, evaluation of the officer’s actions, the officer’s underlying intent or motivation and the facts and circumstances without regard to the officer’s underlying intent.”
They determined that when she arrived on Clay Road she turned her lights and sirens off on her patrol car for safety reasons and noted all house surroundings. They were later all confirmed due to her turning on the body-worn camera that she activated before leaving the patrol car.
The deputy then identified three people sitting on the couch with one man standing in the middle of the living room. She said she first documented them to be “playing charades” but quickly changed her report to an active shooter situation once she moved closer and saw him wielding a gun at the three people on the couch.
She then radioed to her backup that was already trailing her that it was indeed an active situation.
The deputy announced her presence, as her training called for, but angered the gunman and scrambled the hostages, the report said.
After a few short moments, Capps Jr. then picked up another gun, now holding one each hand, according to the deputy. When he pointed both at the people on the sofa, the deputy concluded he was about to shoot the hostages and fired at Capps Jr.
Originally, it was unknown how many shots were fired at Capps Jr., but after further investigation, it was determined she fired three shots from her pistol. However, SBI and the district attorney’s office did not say how many shots hit Capps Jr.
The deputy’s body camera then revealed she asked the former hostages for supplies to try and help with a gunshot wound and radioed for EMS assistance.
Backup then entered the home, and once EMS arrived, they determined there was no active pulse. The gunshot wound location was not released.
Additionally, the three hostages were all identified to be related to Capps Jr.’s girlfriend. They included the girlfriend’s father, the father’s wife, and the girlfriend’s stepmother. The girlfriend was not present.
The three were interviewed in the process, and their statements, along with evidence, records and reports confirmed that the deputy shot Capps Jr. on the assumption that he was on the cusp of shooting one or more hostages. Her actions were deemed lawful under NCGS 15A-401(d)(2), according to the report.
“In this case, the Deputy acted by following her recent training in accord with the legal requirements for deploying deadly force and the highest professional standards,” said Person County District Attorney Michael D. Waters in a press release.
It is unclear if the deputy has been taken off administrative leave, which is standard procedure, during investigations.