District attorney: Dec. 11 shooting that killed man in Jacksonville home justified under self-defense law

Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — District Attorney Ernie Lee said a shooting in Jacksonville that happened on Dec. 11, which killed a man, was justified under the self-defense law in North Carolina.

Officers with the Jacksonville Police Department responded to a shooting at 101 Summercreek Dr. on Dec. 11 at around 8:48 p.m. When they arrived, Trevor Swade Nunn, 26, of 401 Chestnut Rd. in Jacksonville had been shot and killed inside the home. Multiple people at the home were interviewed separately and, after several meetings between Lee’s office and members of the Jacksonville Police Department, it was determined the shooting was justified.

Lee said Nunn was a disabled veterans and “occasional overnight guest at the residence.” Lee also said in a press release that an argument broke out earlier on Dec. 11 between Nunn and others at the home. The homeowner later asked Nunn to leave.

Officials said Nunn returned several hours later, “driving aggressively to the residence.” Lee said Nunn was allowed to get his belongings before the situation escalated. The homeowner got a shotgun, a struggle ensued and Nunn was shot and killed.

Part of Lee’s press release read:

“The homeowner asked the deceased to leave the residence. The deceased drove away from the residence and returned several hours later.  The deceased was driving aggressively to the residence.  The deceased was allowed into the residence to get his personal belongings.  After getting his personal belongings, the deceased left the residence.  The homeowner locked the door behind the deceased and went to another part of the residence.  Moments later, the homeowner heard the deceased screaming. The homeowner was unsure how the deceased got inside.  The homeowner told the deceased to leave; the deceased refused to leave.  The homeowner believed the deceased was acting erratic and suspected that the deceased was under the influence of a narcotic, so the homeowner got a shotgun from another part of the residence, loaded it, and told the deceased to leave; the deceased did not leave and began to close the distance on the homeowner.  The deceased was able to grab the barrel of the gun and a scuffle ensued. Due to the homeowner’s physical disabilities, he believed that if the deceased gained control of the firearm, the deceased would kill the homeowner.  The homeowner was able to regain control of the firearm, take a step back and fire a shot at the deceased who was about to tackle the homeowner.  The homeowner then contacted 911.”

Below is the full media release from Lee’s office:

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At approximately 8:48 p.m. on Saturday, December 11, 2021, officers from the Jacksonville Police Department responded to a report of a shooting at the residence of 101 Summercreek Drive, Jacksonville, NC.  When officers arrived, they discovered one man, Trevor Swade Nunn, age 26, of 401 Chestnut Road, Jacksonville, NC, had been shot and killed inside of the residence.  There were several people present at the residence.  Det. Kymberly Schott of the Jacksonville Police Department was assigned to investigate the shooting.  The people present at the residence were interviewed separately.  Based on the interviews of those at the residence and neighbors and the investigation of the Jacksonville Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office has determined that the shooting death of Trevor Nunn was justified pursuant to the law of self-defense in North Carolina. 

The homeowner, age 28 years, resided at 101 Summercreek Drive, Jacksonville, NC, and he is a disabled veteran.  Several other people stayed at the residence.  The deceased, Trevor Nunn, was an occasional overnight guest at the residence.  Earlier in the day on December 11, 2021 there was an argument between the deceased and others at the residence.  The homeowner asked the deceased to leave the residence.  The deceased drove away from the residence and returned several hours later.  The deceased was driving aggressively to the residence.  The deceased was allowed into the residence to get his personal belongings.  After getting his personal belongings, the deceased left the residence.  The homeowner locked the door behind the deceased and went to another part of the residence.  Moments later, the homeowner heard the deceased screaming. The homeowner was unsure how the deceased got inside.  The homeowner told the deceased to leave; the deceased refused to leave.  The homeowner believed the deceased was acting erratic and suspected that the deceased was under the influence of a narcotic, so the homeowner got a shotgun from another part of the residence, loaded it, and told the deceased to leave; the deceased did not leave and began to close the distance on the homeowner.  The deceased was able to grab the barrel of the gun and a scuffle ensued. Due to the homeowner’s physical disabilities, he believed that if the deceased gained control of the firearm, the deceased would kill the homeowner.  The homeowner was able to regain control of the firearm, take a step back and fire a shot at the deceased who was about to tackle the homeowner.  The homeowner then contacted 911.

While processing the scene, officers located a second shotgun leaning against the exterior of the residence.  Based on interviews of people at the residence, this second shotgun was the property of the deceased.  One of the witnesses observed the second shotgun in the deceased’s vehicle earlier in the day.  It appears that the deceased leaned the second shotgun against the exterior of the residence prior to entering the residence

On the evening of December 11, 2021, District Attorney Ernie Lee was contacted by Chief Michael Yaniero of the Jacksonville Police Department of the shooting death.  On the same evening, Captain Michael Capps also contacted Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael Maultsby.  On December 14, 2021, Chief Assistant District Attorney Michael Maultsby met with Captain Capps and Detective Schott about this investigation.  On December 15, 2021, the Jacksonville Police Department continued to update the District Attorney’s Office.On December 16 and 17, 2021, District Attorney Ernie Lee had additional contact with Chief Yaniero discussing the investigation and the law of North Carolina.   

Pursuant to North Carolina law a person has a right to use deadly force when the person reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm.  In the present case, the investigation shows that the homeowner shot the deceased because the homeowner believed it necessary to protect himself from death or great bodily harm.  Based on the totality of the circumstances including the physical condition of the homeowner, the fact that the homeowner had previously asked the deceased to leave, and the actions of the deceased inside of the residence, the homeowner’s fear was reasonable and Mr. Nunn’s death, while tragic, was justified.  No criminal charges are warranted against the homeowner based upon the law of self-defense in North Carolina. 

District Attorney Ernie Lee appreciates the thorough investigation by the Jacksonville Police Department in this matter and Chief Yaniero joins with the District Attorney in determining that based upon the law of self-defense in North Carolina, the shooting death of Trevor Nunn was justified based upon the interviews of those present at the residence, the evidence at the scene, and the totality of the circumstances.

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