Local News

Authorities explain lack of charges in Cumberland shooting

Posted March 12, 2014

— Cumberland County authorities on Wednesday defended their decision not to press criminal charges in a Monday night shooting at a country club development that left two men wounded.

The shooting occurred in the 6800 block of Towbridge Road, in the Gates Four neighborhood, during an altercation between a food-delivery driver and an 18-year-old resident.

Investigators said Gerald Hinton Lord, 48, of Fayetteville, was delivering a carry-out order when he pulled into the wrong driveway, and Thomas Earl Jacobs asked him to get off of his property. The men exchanged words before Lord drove away, but he later returned and the pair began scuffling in Jacobs' front yard.

Ronnie Mitchell, the attorney for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, said the shouting match between the men might have included some racial slurs. Lord is black, and Jacobs is white.

Lord then pulled out a gun, and the two started wrestling, Mitchell said. Jacobs then body-slammed Lord, and the gun went off when he hit the ground.

Lord was shot in the arm, while Jacobs was grazed in the neck. Authorities haven't determined if a bullet hit Jacobs or the hot barrel of the gun touched his neck, Mitchell said.

No charges have been filed in the case, he said, because the gun went off accidentally and the wounds were not serious.

"In this circumstance, the only serious injury that appears to have occurred is to the perpetrator and not to the victim," he said. "That, of course, created some degree of confusion about what charges may be brought."

The Cumberland County District Attorney's Office is still weighing whether to file charges such as assault with a deadly weapon, assault by pointing a gun or trespassing, Mitchell said.


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  • Viewer Mar 14, 2014

    Charges were filed against Mr Lord on Friday AM.

  • kermit60 Mar 13, 2014

    Trespassing, Assault with a deadly weapon, Assault by pointing a gun, Brandishing a weapon, Instagating the confrontation, and no charges were fired. As a concealed carry instructor I'm disgusted with the no charges in this case. This guy did everything we are told by the state not to do or are told is illegal. Charges should be brought by the state on the DA for not doing his/her job.

  • cjd112121 Mar 12, 2014

    one round fired throught the barrel will not make it hot enough to leave a mark on skin. if they seriously think it was a burn mark on the neck a lot of rounds would have had to have been fired in very short amount of time.

  • glarg Mar 12, 2014

    " Jacobs, who is on the wrestling team at Jack Britt High school, body-slammed Lord"

    Hardcore, bro!

    But how are there no charges when the guy comes back with a gun and instigates a fight with a teenager?

    And what "confusion" is there about charges? The kid was hit in the neck, which easily could have been fatal if it was an inch over.

  • weasel2 Mar 12, 2014

    Always have to put the racial thing in there. Thats the only way the perpetrator can get out of the trespassing and assault with a deadly weapon charges. Since he came back to the scene.

  • Mo Blues Mar 12, 2014

    ...and I am in no way condoning Mr Jacobs' racial slurs if he, in fact, used them. That's reprehensible. However, everything illegal as this is described was initiated by Mr Lord.

  • Lightfoot3 Mar 12, 2014

    "shouting match between the men might have included some racial slurs" - article

    Irrelevant. The shooter came back after being told to leave. That's trespassing.

    "No charges have been filed in the case, he said, because the gun went off accidentally and the wounds were not serious." - article

    Pulling a gun on someone is assault, even if you don't fire it. The trespassing gunman should have been charged.

  • Mo Blues Mar 12, 2014

    Pulling your gun out of your pocket/holster is NOT an "accident." Read carefully the words in the article, "Lord then pulled out a gun..."

    Every responsible concealed carrier knows the only time you pull your sidearm is when you're going to use it in a case of imminent death, sexual assault or grave bodily harm. You NEVER pull it out to wave it around or intimidate anyone.

    Coming back to engage in an altercation he had already escaped makes Lord the assailant. It doesn't matter what words were used by Jacobs. Mr Lord is a dangerous fool.
    If he has a concealed carry permit, it should be pulled, and if not, that's another charge for the DA.

  • Itsmyopinion67 Mar 12, 2014

    It was an accident. Apologies can be made and we can move on.

  • Mo Blues Mar 12, 2014

    This is assault with a deadly weapon at the least. No one would have been injured if the deliveryman hadn't whipped out his piece. There is no such thing as a gun "accidently" going off with any modern firearm. It is negligent to pull your sidearm no matter what someone says to you.