Local News

Man killed in trooper-involved shooting has criminal history

Posted February 13

— A 31-year-old man who died from injuries he sustained Sunday morning in a shooting that involved a trooper with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol has a lengthy criminal history.

According to authorities, Trooper Jerimy Mathis, a 20-year member of the State Highway Patrol, attempted to stop a 1996 Nissan sedan that was driving erratically on US-501 near Duke Street early Sunday morning.

Officials said the driver, Willard Eugene Scott, Jr. failed to stop when Mathis turned on sirens and blue lights.

After a brief pursuit, Scott exited his vehicle and ran. During the chase, Mathis fired his gun and struck Scott. Scott was transported to Duke Regional Hospital where he later died.

Scott displayed a gun, spokespeople with the Highway Patrol said, but details have not been released on whether or not he pointed it at Mathis.

Records show Scott was named in a 2008 officer-involved shooting in Durham. Police said he was shot in the leg after pointing a gun at several people and refusing to drop his weapon as officers approached. He was charged with assault on an officer and assault by pointing a gun in connection with that incident.

Scott was previously arrested on Dec. 13 and charged with assault on a government employee and assault on a female.

An investigation requested by the State Highway Patrol is pending. Mathis has been placed on paid administrative leave as is standard procedure in any trooper-involved shooting.


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  • Jeff Freuler Feb 14, 2017
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    No shocking news here

  • John White Feb 14, 2017
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    No surprise there that he was a criminal. They are usually the type to pull a gun on police. Normal law abiding citizens know enough not to pull a gun. Heck normal law abiding citizens don't run from the police.