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911 calls in deputy shooting to be released

Posted November 26, 2008

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— A Superior Court judge has ruled that 911 calls and traffic recordings related to an officer-involved shooting that killed a Kenly man may be released.

Judge Tom Lock on Wednesday gave investigators until noon Dec. 2 to finish any work they say needs to be done in the Nov. 22 death of Reginald Lee Witcher before the recordings become public record.

Witcher, 54, died Saturday night after a Johnston County sheriff's deputy shot himat his home at 2349 Glendale Road. A sheriff's spokeswoman said that when deputies arrived, Witcher shot at them from his front door, and a deputy returned fire.

Lock on Tuesday ordered the recordings to be sealed, saying that releasing them could jeopardize the ongoing investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation.

At a hearing Friday, District Attorney Susan Doyle said that she requested the recordings be sealed until all key witnesses had been interviewed.

Unless the state files another motion to keep the records under seal, they are expected to be released at noon Dec. 2.

Wednesday's decision came after a hearing in which attorneys for The News & Observer newspaper asked Lock to vacate his order.

Authorities have declined to explain specific details and circumstances that led to the shooting.

A preliminary investigative report states that the deputies were responding to paramedics' request for assistance because of a "highly intoxicated crowd."

Johnston County EMS officials said a crew was there to treat a female guest who had fallen at Witcher's home.

The two deputies, Deputy Sgt. J.K. Garner and Deputy A.J. Case, are both on administrative leave with pay, which is standard procedure for all officer-involved shootings.

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  • shandra7 Nov 27, 2008

    Well slap(or should i say shoot us)"the general public" for being so niave about how this nation expects its deputies to act and resolve a threatening conflict.It would make it easier for you right?Just blow someone away.How do u know we dont know how a deputy is supposed to resolve situations,maybe its just that we have certain expectations from those that are sworn to protect and serve.Mabe we just dont think its ok to go blowing people away left and right to resolve situations,but its nice to know that that is how these officers are being trained..."to kill" you say... yea lets see if the world is a better place with that train of thought an ya your right,it will become a "us against them type thing" and i guess the "general public" will loose because instead of working things out you can just kill us all.It should be known that thats how you in blue feel about "The general public" as you call us!!your not better becaus you hold a badge!! Its not a cut and dry story!Thats obvious!

  • news4u Nov 27, 2008

    The only exercise some people get is flying off the handle, jumping to conclusions and rushing to judgment, oblivious to physical evidence and testimony of all witnessess.

  • leo-nc Nov 27, 2008

    jon2four,

    Get a clue then come back. right now, you're lost.

  • Trublue in Wake County Nov 27, 2008

    Allow me to enlighten you two in the "general public" that seem to take great glee in telling LEO's how to do a job you totally know nothing about:

    (1) We DO NOT shoot to a.wound b.warn c.incapacitate - we are trained to shoot center mass, as fast as possible..ie; KILL...Yes, believe me, we will try to "talk you down" however, each situation will dictate the actions of both the officer and the ARMED suspect...
    (2) The only commentor here who seems to have taken the statement out of context and formulated the "us against them" perception seems to be ummmmmmm, you??
    (3) I love my job and would not dare seek another - it appears to be you however that is quick to judge, investigate, speculate, and assume every single time a police officer discharges his weapon, yet you are the SAME cry baby that whines "oh where were the police" when an armed suspects committs a crime with a weapon.
    (4) stick to your arm chair quarterbacking until the "shady" investigation is complete.

  • jon2four Nov 27, 2008

    Here's my take - I don't care what you arm-chair wanna-be police officers say about "took quick to shoot" "they should have shot him to wound" "could'nt they have shot the gun out of his hands." blah blah blah..unless you wear the badge with us and are a part of us - you AINT us.

    So it's now "us and them",with this attitude it's a wonder if there arn't a lot more of "US" dead. No,we're not wanna be cops ,it might hurt your tender feelings to find out that you are a public servant and serve at the mercy of the public.If you don't like your job resign,it just might make the world a safer place and you wont be so uptight.

  • shandra7 Nov 27, 2008

    wow thanks for the info boys!! I didnt realise that police officers were supposed to shoot to kill only...im sure much of America isnt aware of that but thanks for filling us in.Maybe thats needs to be put onthe national news. No ones bashing good cops!!! I appreciate mine evryday!! But there something shady to this story in many ways...in the end we will see what we will see. Trust me boys its not a cut and dry as you think. Cops make mistakes just as civilians. Just becasue you hold a badge doesnt mean your choices are perfect. Look that one up on the internet.We could start that one with Rodney King,and go on from there. Just because someone sais it happened doesnt mean it did, and thats on BOTH sides of the fence!

  • rj4as805 Nov 27, 2008

    shandra7 warning shot??? I guess you have never been shot at. I have, its no fun. Secondly the Johnston County Sheriffs Office is not allowed to fire warning shots by policy. I think the best thing you can do is let the police be the police and you sit there and let them protect you. Plan and simple they were shot at by a intoxicated subject who became angry and got his shotgun. Love how people assume that law enforcement is always wrong.

  • 4506tobysuper Nov 27, 2008

    You watch to much television shandra7. Officers aren't aloud to give warning shots and officers don't shoot to wound. They shoot to stop the threat. It's not like the movies were a cop will shoot a 100 yards and knock the gun out of their hand. Grow up. The bad guy shot at the deputies so they returned fire.

  • 4506tobysuper Nov 27, 2008

    Hey shandra7....why does it matter. What matters is the suspect fired a shot gun at the deputies...they returned fire killing the suspect. One of the dupties received injuries from glass that had blown into his face from where the suspect shot.

    Good job deputies.

  • shandra7 Nov 27, 2008

    Camm-
    "Honey im gonna go put the gun up that i keep downstairs since we live in a rural area upstairs so that no one get hurt since the ems are coming"

    "Omg! Hunny ...no...i cant believe the police shot you as you were walking upstairs with your gun in your own home...i cant believe they didnt wound you if they were threatened...or gave you a warning shot...OMG hunny...your dead!

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