Local News

SBI finds Raleigh officers justified in shooting armed man

Posted April 26, 2017 6:42 p.m. EDT

Jaqwan Julius Terry

— In a report issued Wednesday on behalf of Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman and the State Bureau of Investigation, two Raleigh police officers were cleared of any wrong-doing in a shootout that left a man dead last August.

The final report reiterated facts from a preliminary investigation gathered just after the death of 24-year-old Jaqwan Julius Terry.

"Based on all the evidence available, it is the conclusion of the District Attorney that Officers Burleson and Beausoleil shot Mr. Terry in self-defense and as a matter of last resort and only because they reasonably believed Officer Burleson’s life was in danger," the report read.

Senior Officer B.K. Burleson responded to a 911 call about a man with a gun outside a home at 241 Donald Ross Drive, and the woman inside told him that she had broken up with Terry earlier in the day but that he had shown up at her home with a gun and told her he wouldn't allow her to leave him, according to the report.

The woman pointed out Terry in the neighborhood, but Terry started to run when Burleson asked to speak with him, the report states. Burleson pursued the man, ordered him to stop and called for help.

After about a block, Terry tried to climb a wooden fence at 311 Donald Ross Drive, but Burleson caught up to him and pulled him to the ground. As the two struggled, Burleson noticed a gun on the ground next to Terry and tried to push him away from the weapon, the report states. Terry, however, was able to grab the gun, and he pointed it at Burleson.

Burleson then drew his gun, and the two men fired at each other. Burleson was wounded but continued to fire at Terry, who was still pointing his gun at the officer, according to the report.

Master Officer B.S. Beausoleil then arrived and, seeing Terry shoot Burleson, he fired on Terry as well. Terry fell to the ground, still holding his gun, the report states.

The exchange lasted about five seconds, and Beausoleil radioed for assistance as he commanded Terry to drop the gun.

Terry was shot several times from the front and the side, according to the report, and died at WakeMed.