Video released, trooper cleared in shooting Johnston County driver last month

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A North Carolina State Highway Patrolman was cleared Friday in the April 4 shooting of a man who ended up being armed with an air pistol, authorities say.

The 20-year-old Clayton man who was shot during an altercation near Princeton was released from the hospital six days after the shooting. 

Darius Jayquan Rogers suffered serious injuries when he was shot by Sgt. J. M. Dorsey during a traffic stop around 1 p.m. on Highway 70 outside Princeton on April 5, the Highway Patrol said.

On Friday, a report by Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle said that Rogers had a black and silver Umbrex 40-X-P Air pistol in his Nissan Maxima glove compartment.

“Rogers admitted that he did not tell Dorsey that it was just a BB-gun because he was scared,” the report said.

The incident all began when Dorsey was heading east on US 70 in Wayne County when he saw a Nissan Maxima heading west around 100 mph. 

During a traffic stop for the speeding, Rogers seemed “unusually nervous and continued to stare at the glove compartment,” the report from Doyle said.

Eventually, Rogers said he had a “gun” in the glove compartment and Dorsey told him not to move toward it, according to the report. 

“At that point, Rogers dove with both hands and grabbed toward the glove compartment,” the report Friday said.

“Dorsey saw Rogers grab the pistol out of the glove compartment with his right hand and begin to lean up again,” according to the report.

Dorsey told Rogers to “drop it” three separate times before firing fired three times back-to-back through the rear passenger’s side window. 

Rogers then fell across into the front passenger’s seat. Rogers had three gunshots to his back.

The North Carolina SBI later found the air pistol.

“An inspection of the gun by crime scene investigators revealed it to have physical characteristics similar to a Glock with no orange tip like most BB-guns,” the report said.

Doyle also said that Dorsey was cleared in the shooting.

“Officers must often make split-second decisions regarding their use of force. Under the circumstances observed by Sergeant J.M. Dorsey, his use of force was both reasonable and warranted,” the report said.

Click here to read the full report.
 

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