DA clears Orange County deputies in fatal shooting of home invasion suspect

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Orange County deputies’ actions were determined to be “lawful and reasonable” in the fatal shooting of a home invasion suspect in February, the district attorney’s office announced Tuesday.

home-invasion
CLICK TO VIEW 7 LARGER PHOTOS RELATED TO THE INCIDENT

Keo Crockett was shot and killed by a deputy during a confrontation at his home in Efland just before 11 p.m. on February 18.

RELATED: 911 call details incident that led up to fatal deputy-involved shooting in Orange County

Mebane police, who were investigating a home invasion off Old Hillsborough Road in Mebane that night, had asked the Orange County Sheriff’s Office for help finding a suspect in the Efland area.

Mebane police told Orange County deputies the suspect had fired a weapon when he broke into a home and assaulted two people, according to the sheriff’s office’s account of events. A caller had also described a Chevrolet pickup to 911 operators.

Deputy Duke Ashley and Deputy Tyler Chelenza were given Crockett’s Efland address to investigate. The two found a Chevrolet pickup matching the description at the home on Virginia Lee Lane.

When Ashley knocked on the door, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said, Crockett abruptly came out of the home and pointed a gun at the deputy.

Both deputies fired their weapons, striking and killing Crockett.

On Tuesday, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office released a statement regarding the investigation into the shooting:

It is always tragic for all involved when law enforcement officers must use deadly force to protect themselves or the public. This incident underscores the potential danger faced by law enforcement officers each day.

The statement confirmed Ashley fatally shot Crockett while Chelenza fired his weapon but did not hit the suspect.

Both deputies “acted reasonably under the circumstances to protect the public, themselves, and their fellow officers,” the statement reads.

The prosecutor’s office called Crockett’s death a “tragic event.”

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