The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office recently announced that the teenage son of a North Carolina police officer who shot him in the head has died.
At approximately 4:36 p.m. on December 27, 2021, a Jacksonville police officer shot his 15-year-old son in the head with a .45 caliber weapon. The teen was first taken to Camp Lejeune’s Naval Medical Center and then transferred to Vidant Medical Center, where he died on Tuesday from his life-threatening injuries.
“The caller is advising that it’s going to be accidental,” said a sheriff’s office dispatcher in a recording obtained by WITN News. “They were advising they were playing with toy guns. Somehow they’ve had a gunshot wound.”
On December 28, 2021, District Attorney Ernie Lee released the following statement: “This is a tragic event and this matter remains under investigation by the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office. The reports, statements, and other evidence from the investigation will be provided to this office to determine what actions, if any, will be taken. I continue to remain in contact with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office in this on-going investigation.”
Beth Purcell, public affairs coordinator with Jacksonville police, said the department “opened an administrative investigation following the incident and the officer was placed on administrative leave.” A release from the sheriff’s office stated, “All preliminary indications are that the incident was an accidental shooting.”
But the unidentified Jacksonville police officer remains under investigation due to the fact that he claims he mistook the .45 caliber weapon for a toy gun.
The county has refused to release the 911 call, claiming it was a medical call and not a request for law enforcement. Both EMS and deputies were dispatched as a result of that telephone call.
Police officials currently have refused to disclose the name of the father responsible for killing his teenage son. After the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office completes the investigation into the fatal shooting, District Attorney Lee will determine whether charges should be filed.