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Stranded motorist shoots state trooper in chest with .44 Magnum — but ballistic vest stops bullet, and trooper unleashes deadly force in return

A North Carolina state trooper has been deemed justified in the fatal shooting of a motorist who had opened fire on the trooper first. The incident occurred on July 3 along Interstate 26 when Trooper Jeffrey Dunlap was assisting a stranded motorist. The motorist unexpectedly pulled out a gun and shot Dunlap in the chest. However, Dunlap’s ballistic vest saved his life, allowing him to return fire and ultimately kill the motorist. The district attorney of Buncombe County, Todd Williams, reviewed the dashcam video and determined that Dunlap acted within the law. The case will not result in criminal charges against the trooper.

It was a harrowing encounter on a North Carolina highway that unfolded on July 3, leaving a state trooper in a life-or-death situation. Trooper Jeffrey Dunlap had stopped to assist a stranded motorist along Interstate 26 near Long Shoals Road. (theblaze.com) What started as a routine traffic stop quickly turned into a life-threatening event when the motorist pulled out a gun and shot Dunlap in the chest. (pscks.com)

In a stroke of luck and good preparation, Dunlap’s ballistic vest played a crucial role in saving his life. The bullet fired by the motorist was stopped by the vest, preventing it from penetrating Dunlap’s body. With his life hanging in the balance, Dunlap showed immense bravery and managed to return fire, ultimately neutralizing the threat and killing the motorist. (wspa.com)

The motorist has been identified as 57-year-old Wesley Scott Taylor of Leicester. The district attorney of Buncombe County, Todd Williams, thoroughly reviewed the dashcam video capturing the incident. Williams concluded that Trooper Dunlap had acted in self-defense and was legally justified in using deadly force against Taylor.

Williams, in a statement, explained his decision: “After reviewing [highway patrol] dashcam video capturing the event… 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.” The district attorney’s determination means that no criminal charges will be filed in the case.

To support his decision, Williams shared two crucial pieces of evidence. The first was a still frame from Dunlap’s dashcam video, which clearly showed Taylor pointing a gun at the trooper from close range between their two vehicles. The second was a photograph of the bullet that had been recovered from Dunlap’s ballistic vest, further underscoring the grave danger he had faced.

As news of the district attorney’s ruling spread, public sentiment overwhelmingly supported Trooper Dunlap’s actions. Commenters on WSPA’s YouTube page, where the dashcam video was shared, expressed their unwavering support for the trooper. (pscks.com) They recognized the split-second decisions he had to make under extreme duress, acknowledging that his actions were necessary to protect his own life.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers faced by law enforcement officers every day. (pscks.com) Trooper Dunlap, like many others in his profession, puts his life on the line to keep communities safe. His dedication, quick thinking, and courageous response in the face of imminent danger saved his own life and potentially prevented further harm.

In a society that often scrutinizes law enforcement actions, it is crucial to recognize instances where officers are confronted with life-threatening situations and must make split-second decisions. Trooper Dunlap’s case highlights the importance of thoroughly examining all available evidence before reaching judgments. (pscks.com) The district attorney’s careful review of the dashcam video and the subsequent determination of legal justification underscores the need for fairness and objectivity in such cases. (pscks.com) (pscks.com)

As we reflect on this incident, let us remember the risks faced by law enforcement officers who bravely serve our communities. (pscks.com) Trooper Dunlap’s story is a testament to the bravery and dedication exhibited by those who protect and serve. It is a reminder that their sacrifices should not go unnoticed and that we should support them as they navigate the complex challenges of their profession.

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