Local News

Officer cleared in suspect's shooting

Posted May 29, 2008 6:26 p.m. EDT

— Authorities on Thursday cleared a Durham police officer of any wrongdoing in the January shooting of an armed man.

Officer James Cartwright was working off-duty in uniform at the Carriage House Apartments on Seven Oaks Road on Jan. 16 when he confronted an armed man who reportedly had been pointing a gun at people.

Cartwright shot Willard Scott Jr., 22, in the leg after the man refused to drop the weapon and began approaching Cartwright and other officers, police said.

Scott was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm, four counts of assault by pointing a gun, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of marijuana with the intent to manufacture, sell or deliver.

Durham County District Attorney David Saacks said he reviewed a State Bureau of Investigation report on the incident and concluded that Cartwright "had a legitimate fear for his safety and was justified in firing his weapon."