CLINTON, N.C. — North Carolina authorities have cleared eight officers who fatally shot a 53-year-old white man, striking him 14 times, after he pointed a shotgun at them.
Local media outlets report Monday that Sampson County District Attorney Ernie Lee ruled the May 29 shooting in a Burger King parking lot was justified.
Lee’s report says officers tried for nearly 20 minutes to get Coffey to put down the gun. Seven Clinton officers and a highway trooper fired 143 shots in less than a minute after Coffey opened the door of his pickup.
An autopsy showed John Coffey of Warsaw was shot in the head, shoulders, neck and torso.
Lee says a state investigation found Coffey never fired his shotgun. It was not loaded.
Coffey’s wife told investigators that he was severely depressed.