NC DA says cop justified in shooting UNC student

Posted by Debra Worley - email

RANDOLPH COUNTY, NC (WECT) - According to the Randolph County District Attorney, the Archdale Police officer who shot and killed a UNC student earlier this year was justified.

In a press release, DA Garland Yates said there was reasonable belief the responding officers were in imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.

21-year-old Courtland Smith of Texas died early on Aug. 23 after being shot by an officer near Exit 108 off Interstate 85 in Archdale.

Yates said the student aggressively advanced on the officers, making them retreat to the back of their patrol cars.

The DA said the officer fired after Smith suddenly drew his hand from behind his back while holding a black object.

Investigators only found a cell phone at the scene, but no gun.

Smith was a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill and was majoring in biology.  He was the president of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

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