BURKE COUNTY, N.C. - Authorities are investigating what led to a deadly officer-involved shooting Monday night in Burke County.
Deputies responded to a domestic-related incident around 7 p.m. on Prichard Avenue, off Highway 70 west of Morganton. According to the 911 caller, a man was beating a woman in the road. The caller told authorities that the man also had a revolver and a knife.
"He was shooting at her feet with the gun and she told him the police are coming and he said, ‘Let them come, I'm ready,’" neighbor Teressa Ollis told Channel 9.
When the deputy arrived, the man, identified as 42-year-old Jeffrey Jacobs, was outside the mobile home holding the gun. Officials said the deputy ordered Jacobs to drop the weapon several times before Jacobs pointed the gun at the deputy.
"The officer told the man repeatedly, 'Drop the weapon, drop the weapon. I do not want to shoot you," Burke County Sheriff Steve Whisenant said.
The deputy then fired a single shot, striking Jacobs.
Witnesses collaborated that account with Channel 9, saying Jacobs refused to drop the weapon before pointing it at the deputy and being shot.
"Just telling him, 'Put it down.' Put his gun down. Put his gun down,” neighbor Richard Keller said. “He said that repeatedly. The cop was at no fault. He gave him ample opportunity. If I was the cop, I would have probably shot him before he did."
Jacobs was taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Morganton, but died before he arrived.
The gun Jacobs was holding turned out to be a CO2 pistol, which Whisenant said was a perfect replica of a real revolver.
"If you picked that weapon up, you would not know that it is not a real revolver," Whisenant said.
The Burke County Sheriff's Office sent a picture (see below) of Jacobs' CO2 pistol compared to a real pistol. The one being held by the officer in the orange glove is the one that authorities said Jacobs had in his hand.
Jacobs' wife Jennifer Jolly fought back tears as she spoke about her husband who she said was a devoted man who loved his family.
"They made him out to be a mean, violent person and he wasn't. He was a Godly person and loved this world and his friends," Jolly said.
Jolly said she wishes the deputy would have responded differently. She said she told the officer the gun wasn't real.
"He could have Tasered him, shot him in the knees or the hand and now I have to tell my son he won't see his father again," Jolly said.
The deputy, a 4-year veteran of the Burke County Sheriff's Office, was not hurt. He has been placed on administrative leave until the investigation is concluded. His name has not been released.
The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.
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