CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. - Sheriff’s deputies in Catawba County used deadly force while responding to a 911 call near the town of Catawba.
Witness Grady Shortridge showed Channel 9 what he saw through the front window of his home.
“He was standing like this right here, with the gun like this,” he said.
Seconds later, deputies shot and killed Jimmy Dean Cash. Deputies said they had gotten a 911 call from the home 45 minutes earlier in which Cash's wife told them her husband was threatening suicide and would kill any cop who came to the home.
“Responding to a domestic call like this, you respond to someone's home (and) you don't know what you're walking into,” Sheriff Coy Reid said. “When the person points a pistol at you, you don't have a choice but to defend yourself.”
Neighbors like Darrell Stewart said what happened doesn't make any sense. He had never seen any problems at the home before and said Cash always waved when Stewart passed.
“(He would) throw his hand up and speak to you, him and his wife both,” Stewart said.
But for those who witnessed the shooting, they said the deputies had little choice but to act by using deadly force.
“They had to do it,” Shortridge said. “I would have done it myself if I was an officer. When you pull a gun on an officer, you should expect to get shot if you don't give it up.”
The SBI was called in to investigate the shooting. The deputies are off for the next two days and have not been placed on any kind of leave at this point. They could return to work later this week.