SBI: Deputies acted lawfully in Rowan County man’s February killing

Published 6:19 pm Tuesday, July 25, 2023

SALISBURY — In a Tuesday statement, the Rowan County district attorney said that the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation determined the actions of law enforcement that left one man dead in February were lawful.

According to the release, investigators “concluded that the evidence supports that the deputy acted lawfully and did not violate any criminal laws” when they shot and killed Jordan Mays in his bedroom during the service of a warrant.

Mays was killed at a residence located at 138 Driftwood Court outside the city limits of Salisbury after the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Apprehension Team (SOCAT) received a tip that he and Jeremy Brock, another individual with outstanding warrants, were at the home.

The shooting occurred shortly after 5 p.m.

Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook’s Tuesday statement featured summaries of witness and deputy testimony, crime scene investigation notes and photos.

Testimony revealed that the presence of multiple firearms in the room where Mays was killed and the deceased’s lack of cooperation with deputies’ prompts led to the shooting.

The firearms recovered from the scene included a Taurus slim 9mm handgun, with one bullet in the chamber and seven bullets loaded in the magazine; a black Glock 26 Gen 4 9mm handgun with a magazine on the floor at the foot of the bed, with one bullet in the chamber and 12 in the magazine; and a Taurus PT-92 C 9 mm handgun with one bullet in the chamber and 13 in the magazine.

According to the legal standard analysis in the statement, a law enforcement officer, or any other person, is “justified in using deadly force” if the officer or person “reasonably believed that he or another person was in imminent danger of great bodily injury or death” for the actions of the person who is shot.

“It is lawful for an officer to take action before it is too late to repel a deadly attack,” the release said. “Under North Carolina law, the burden of proof is on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person did not act in self-defense.”

The conclusion outlined in the DA’s statement said that after deputies arrived at the residence, “multiple commands” were given for Mays to come out of the residence.

Once entry was made into the residence, deputies gave multiple commands to Mays to come out of a bedroom with his hands up.

The release said that deputies entered the room and found Mays “sitting up on a bed.”

Investigators determined that a gun was visible and that deputies prompted Mays not to reach for the gun before a “struggle ensued” between Mays and a deputy attempting to place him under arrest.

A witness in the room confirmed with investigators that Mays was not cooperating with law enforcement.

During the physical altercation, Mays went for a gun and attempted to turn toward the deputies when fatal shots were fired.