Authorities in Gastonia investigate after officer shoots and kills man during a welfare check

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GASTONIA, North Carolina — The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating after an elderly Gastonia man was shot and killed by a police officer checking on his welfare.

Police Chief Robert Helton told area media outlets Sunday that 74-year-old James Howard Allen was shot and killed Saturday night.

Authorities say that family members had asked police to check up on Allen who recently underwent surgery.

When officers went to Allen's home around 10 p.m., there was no answer. Police returned about 90 minutes later and firefighters helped them get in through the back door.

The chief said Officer Josh Lefevers announced himself but when he entered Allen was holding a gun pointed at him and the officer shot.

The officer has been placed on administrative leave while authorities investigate.

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