No Charges In Fatal Princeton Shooting

Photo by John Payne

PRINCETON – No criminal charges will be filed against a 73 year-old man who shot and killed a Princeton-area resident during an altercation.

William Ronnie Oliver Jr., 47, died during the fatal encounter outside his home on Progressive Church Road, around 7:25pm May 17, 2023.

Deputies arrived and located Joe Mitchell of Old Smithfield Road at the scene. Mitchell called 911 reporting the shooting. He told authorities he was in an altercation with Oliver and shot him.

Oliver was found deceased from a gunshot wound.

After investigating the fatal shooting, and consulting with the Johnston County District Attorney’s Office, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office announced that Joe Mitchell will not face any criminal charges. A motive for the deadly altercation was not disclosed. Investigators did confirm the two men did know one another.


  1. Why did this decision take so long? Seems it was a open and shut case or there was something else going on that the public doesn’t know about.

  2. It’s sad that a man can get into an argument with another man, go to his house with a firearm and shoot him and never serve a day in jail. This is injustice by the johnston county authorities and an injustice to all of Ronnie’s friends and family.

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