Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle announced Friday afternoon that a deputy sheriff and state trooper were justified in the use of deadly force at an auto accident scene on Interstate 40 on July 8th.
At the same time, Superior Court Judge Thomas H. Lock agreed to release dash camera footage of the fatal shooting.
State Trooper Jonathan Taylor and Deputy Taylor Davis were dispatched to a single vehicle accident on I-40 near the Sampson County line. Motorists had called 911 reporting the driver, Tina Renee Medlin of Raleigh, was armed with a handgun, and was lying on the shoulder of the interstate.
The video shows the officers approach Medlin and give commands for her to drop the weapon. Instead, Medlin raises the gun and fires it at both officers. Both officers returned fire striking Medlin. She died as a result of her injuries on July 11th at Wake Medical Center.
According to a press release from District Attorney Doyle, the Johnston County 911 Center received numerous calls from motorists reporting a white SUV was traveling westbound on I-40 as fast as 120 MPH and driving erratically. Callers later reported the SUV had wrecked and the driver, later identified as Medlin, was lying on the grass near the wrecked vehicle.
One witness went up to Medlin to see is she was okay. Medlin reportedly yelled to the witness, “I wish I would have just killed myself!” and continued to repeat the statement. She then went to her SUV and retrieved a gun, the witness told a 911 dispatcher.
The witness observed Medlin put the gun in her waistband and lie down on the ground.
Trooper Taylor and Deputy Davis arrived on the scene simultaneously. A civilian was trying to approach Medlin but the officers ordered the civilian away.
When Medlin stood up, both officers witnessed her armed with a gun in her waistband. She also had a pair of handcuffs in her waistband.
Both officers drew their weapons and ordered Medlin to drop her gun. She yelled at the officers, “That’s not my car!” Trooper Taylor told her that was ok. At that point, Medlin reached into her waistband and Trooper Taylor yelled, “Don’t draw it!”
Medlin had the firearm in her hand, turned around, squared up and fired her weapon directly at the two officers, Doyle said. The officers returned fire striking Medlin who fell to the ground on her chest with her arms underneath her. She sustained a wound to her head.
A semi-automatic weapon was found on the ground next to her.
The district attorney said she concluded both Deputy Davis and Trooper Taylor were legally justified in the use of deadly force.
Doyle’s office requested the video be released to the public to fully explain the officers’ use of force.