Gastonia man involved in officer-involved shooting shares his side of events

Gastonia man involved in officer-involved shooting shares his side of events in WBTV exclusive

GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - A man at the center of an officer-involved shooting that happened earlier in July in Gastonia is speaking publicly for the first time.

In an interview with Jarvis Lynn, the man who was arrested after Gastonia police say he fired his gun at officers first, is talking exclusively to WBTV.

It was about two weeks ago when Gastonia police officers stopped at at a home along South Gray Street  after being sent for a noise disturbance call.

Things quickly took a turn when Jarvis Lynn's sister, Brittany Lynn, was shot by a Gastonia police officer; A situation officials say escalated when Lynn starting shooting at police, but Lynn says that's not how things happened.

Jarvis Lynn says a door on the side of the home is where a Gastonia police officer shot into, when he hit is sister Brittany Lynn in the chest with bullets.

"All I hear is, 'Oh [explicit] they done shot me!'" Jarvis says as he describes what he heard his sister yell after being shot.

According to SBI officials who are investigating the shooting, officer Stephen Whisnant pulled his trigger.

Gastonia police say the officer only fired off his gun after Jarvis, who is a convicted felon for previous drugs that date back to 2010, started shooting first.

Jarvis says that couldn't have happened because officers only retrieved one gun from the scene; the gun that was found outside the home and none of his family members had weapons.

Officer Whisnant is on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues.

"From my understanding, that's what they said that I waved a gun at them and that he asked me numerous times to put down my weapon. I never heard none of that. I didn't even have no weapon in my hand for him to say anything," says Jarvis.

Jarvis admitted he first had contact with police while standing outside in the front yard but went inside to grab his mother to speak with officers because he was a felon with outstanding warrants for assault.

"I already knew I was going to jail period. It wasn't no need to even have no words with them at all because I had warrants. I was going to jail regardless."

Jarvis says he has no problem facing the past charges that's pinned against him, but he and civil rights activist John Barnett just want to make sure that officer Whisnant has his day in court too as Brittany Lynn is still trying to recover from her injuries.

"We are still asking that that officer be fired," said Barnett.

Jarvis will be in court this Thursday in Gaston County on unrelated charge. His family says they all plan to be there in support.

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