APEX, N.C. (AP) — A State Bureau of Investigation agent was justified when he shot and killed a North Carolina teenager accused of pointing a gun at him, a prosecutor has determined.
The Wake County District Attorney’s Office said on Tuesday it would not pursue criminal charges against Agent Denzel Ward, who fatally shot Dayve Rafael-Sanchez, 18, in April outside a sporting goods store in Apex, news outlets reported.
Ward “reasonably believed that his life was in danger at the time he fired three shots,” District Attorney Lorrin Freeman wrote, saying she reviewed evidence that included surveillance video and witness statements.
The shooting occurred in the parking lot of Academy Sports following a shoplifting episode that involved the teen and a female companion, Freeman said. They stole ammunition and ran from the store, which drew Ward’s attention and he approached them and identified himself as a law enforcement agent, the prosecutor said.
When he tried to detain them, he spotted a rifle on the floor of the vehicle and took out his weapon, and then Rafael-Sanchez grabbed the rifle and pointed it at Ward at which time the agent fired, Freeman said.