No charges after husband shoots intruder as wife slept at NC coastal motel

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Oak Island (Photo: Doug Anderson)

OAK ISLAND, N.C. (WECT) – Officials say no charges will be filed after a shooting at a motel last weekend in Oak Island.

According to Police Chief Wilburn L. Ingram, officers were dispatched to Ocean Crest Motel on Oct. 20 in reference to a victim with gunshot wounds.

A release from the district attorney’s office says the man who reportedly fired the shot was legally justified in using deadly force.

Investigators say a couple was sleeping in their first-floor motel room when they heard a loud noise outside the room. The husband, believing that someone was trying to break into he and his wife’s room, retrieved his Taurus 9mm handgun from the nightstand beside the bed.

The husband, armed with the gun, walked to the door to look through the peephole, but as he was looking through the peephole, the locked and bolted door flew open, knocking him against a wall.

The husband saw a large figure moving toward the bed where his wife was sleeping and fired one shot, striking the intruder in the shoulder.

The “intruder” and his three friends were also guests at the motel. The group had gone to dinner and a bar where investigators say they consumed a significant amount of alcohol.

The victim and his group reportedly returned to the motel just after midnight, where they “engaged in horseplay” outside the couple’s room. At one point, the victim, who was unarmed, leaned against the door of the couple’s room. Shortly after, his friends shoved him hard enough to destroy the door jam and thrust the locked door open.

The victim then staggered in the direction of the bed until the husband shot him.

Ingram said the victim remains in the hospital.

Under NC law, the hotel room meets the definition of a ‘home” and the husband’s deadly, defensive force was deemed “entirely reasonable under the circumstances,” according to the district attorney’s office. No charges will be filed as a result.

Ocean Crest Motel was the scene of a large structure fire earlier this year.

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