Deputies Cleared of Any Wrongdoing in Shooting Death

John Lewis, Jr.
John Lewis, Jr.

JUNE 15, 2005 -- New Hanover County sheriff's deputies involved in a deadly standoff won't face criminal charges. Sheriff Sid Causey says that's no surprise to him.

The State Bureau of Investigation wanted to know if deputies acted appropriately when they shot and killed John Lewis, Jr. during a standoff in April. Now the results of that probe are in and no charges will be filed.

The deputies were responding to a plea for help from Lewis' wife.

At one point, Lewis came out holding a gun. Lewis' family told News 6 deputies had no reason to use deadly force, but Sheriff Causey says the SBI investigation makes clear his deputies acted properly.

"Well, Mr. Lewis unfortunately chose to use deadly force against us, and when that happens, we don't have a choice and the officers were justified in using that. We're sorry it happened, but that's what happened. They don't want to get shot," says Causey.

The bullet that killed Lewis came from Deputy Donald Warnick's gun. He is on administrative leave.