BURKE COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A man was shot and killed by a deputy in Burke County Monday night after officials say he pointed a Co2 bb gun at the deputy who was responding to a call about a domestic disturbance.
The incident happened around 7 p.m. on Pritchard Drive, off of Highway 70 in Morganton. The 911 caller said a man, later identified as 42-year-old Jeffrey Jacobs, was beating a woman in the roadway. The caller said Jacobs had a revolver and a knife.
When the deputy, whose name has not been released, responded to the call he saw Jacobs with a revolver in one hand. Sheriff Steve Whisnant says witnesses and dash cam video show that the deputy ordered Jacobs to drop the weapon more than a dozen times.
"After multiple warnings to drop the weapon, the male pointed the gun at the deputy who fired one shot striking the male," deputies said.
Deputies say they later learned the weapon Jacobs pointed was a CO2 pistol that was "a perfect replica of a real revolver."
"Distinguishing between the Co2 weapon and a real revolver is difficult even in a calm non-threatening environment," Sheriff Whisnant said Tuesday.
Joshua Buie, who says he was friends with Jacobs, agreed it did appear to be an actual firearm. Buie says he yelled out that the gun was not real but the deputy continued to order Jacobs to drop it.
After the single shot was fired, striking Jacobs in the chest, the deputy and a trooper provided first aid to Jacobs until EMS arrived. Jacobs died on the way to the hospital.
Jennifer Jolly says she was Jacobs' wife and was the woman involved in the confrontation with him.
"We had an argument as all marriages do," she said.
Jolly believes the deputy could have handled the situation differently. She says she is heartbroken to lose her husband.
"He loved his friends and he loved his family," Jolly said.
Whisnant says it is tragic that the situation came to what it did, but he believes the deputy acted properly.
"He did not want to kill anybody," the sheriff said, "but he was forced to do it."
The deputy involved, a four-year veteran of the sheriff's office, was placed on administrative leave during the investigation.
The investigation is being handled by the SBI.