A good guy with a gun is the best antidote to a bad guy with a gun — especially when that good guy is a state trooper.
Now, the district attorney responsible for handling the case has made it clear the trooper’s use of deadly force was justified, considering that he had just been shot with a round stopped by his ballistic vest.
According to WLOS-TV, the shooting happened along Interstate 26 in Asheville, North Carolina, on July 3.
Trooper Jeffrey Dunlap had stopped to assist what appeared to be a stranded motorist. The motorist — later identified as Wesley Taylor, 57 — then brandished a gun and shot Dunlap in the chest.
Dunlap was able to return fire, killing Taylor.
The trooper, a 13-year veteran of the force, was taken to a local hospital for observation and subsequently released, according to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
The reason for the attack is not known. A July 7 report from WLOS indicated that Taylor only had “traffic citations and violations” in North Carolina, as well as a charge of driving while impaired from 2012 — but that charge had been dismissed at the time.
However, it was a different matter in Kentucky, where, WLOS reported, “between 1984-1990, Taylor was found guilty of charges ranging from aggravated assault, fugitive warrants, forcible sex offenses, and burglary, for which he served time.”
On Tuesday, Buncombe County District Attorney Todd Williams said in a statement that no charges would be filed against Dunlap and that his use of deadly force was lawful.
“I find that Trooper Dunlap was legally justified to use deadly force against Taylor who shot Trooper Dunlap in the chest at close range with a .44 Magnum semi-automatic pistol,” Williams said in a statement.
“No criminal charges will be filed in this matter and the [North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation] may close this investigation.”
“Trooper Dunlap was legally justified to use deadly force . . . [n]o criminal charges will be filed in this matter and the NC SBI may close this investigation.” – DA Todd Williams.
See the attached statement for more information.
— Buncombe County DA (@BuncombeCoDA) July 11, 2023