SBI: Woman fatally shot by Gastonia officer refused to drop 'long gun'

SBI: Woman fatally shot by Gastonia officer refused to drop 'long gun'

GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - A Gastonia woman who was fatally shot by a Gastonia police officer Tuesday afternoon refused to drop a gun, according to the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).

Police say Betty Diane Sexton, 43, was fatally shot in the chest by Officer LaDoniqua Neely just before noon. SBI Agent Tony Underwood confirmed that Sexton had "a long gun" when she was shot.

Neely was responding to a domestic disturbance call at 2325 Union Road. According to the SBI, Sexton called police when her ex-boyfriend and a friend would not leave her home.

Agent Underwood said that when the officers got to the home, they told Sexton how to remove the duo legally.

Underwood said that they were about to leave when Sexton went to a bedroom and "in a matter of seconds came out carrying a long gun." He did not elaborate on the model of the gun.

He said that during a brief encounter in the kitchen Sexton was ordered to drop the gun but refused. That's when Officer Neely fired one shot, hitting Sexton in the chest.

The officer is on administrative leave while the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation conducts their investigation.

Police say Neely has been with Gastonia police since January 2012.

Sexton's neighbor said he rarely spoke to the woman. He said he did not hear any noise in the area other than sirens.

This is the second fatal shooting this month involving a Gastonia police officer. On Feb. 7, Officer Josh Lefevers shot and killed 74-year-old James Howard Allen. In that incident, police say the officer entered Allen's home and the man also refused to drop a gun which was pointed in the direction of officers.

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