Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle announced today (Friday) that a state trooper will not face any charges for the shooting of a driver armed with a BB gun.
On April 4th, Sergeant J.M Dorsey with the NC Highway Patrol clocked on radar a Nissan Maxima traveling 96 mph in a 55 mph zone on Highway 70 westbound in Wayne County near the Wayne-Johnston County line. Sgt. Dorsey stopped the speeding car on Highway 70 near Princeton and just inside Johnston County. The traffic stop was recorded.
The driver, 20 year-old Darius Jayquan Rogers of Clayton, was unusually nervous and continued to stare at his glove compartment.
Sgt. Dorsey asked Rogers what was in the glove compartment and he replied there was a gun.
The trooper asked Rogers to turn off the car and step out of the vehicle, but he ignored those requests, District Attorney Doyle said in a news release.
Rogers refused to make eye contact with the trooper, and continued to refuse commands to turn off the car and exit as requested.
Trooper Dorsey told Rogers that he had his driver’s license and “don’t think of doing nothing stupid.” At that point, Rogers dove with both hands and grabbed towards the glove compartment.
Trooper Dorsey stepped back right and drew his service weapon. He gave repeated commands to Rogers by saying, “Don’t do it” and “Drop it” three times each. Dorsey then fired his weapon three times into the back passenger side window striking Rogers three times. Rogers fell across into the front passenger’s seat.
Sgt. Dorsey returned to his patrol car and radioed for assistance and for an EMS unit. When additional officers arrived on the scene, Rogers was removed from his car and placed on the ground. He sustained 3 gunshot wounds to his back.
While being administered medical care at the scene, Rogers kept apologizing stating, “I’m sorry. I did something stupid.”
Rogers was taken by ambulance to Wake Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries and discharged 6 days later.
The NC Highway Patrol and Johnston County District Attorney requested the NC SBI investigate the shooting.
During a search of the crime scene, the SBI recovered a black and silver Umbrex 40-X-P air pistol.
Rogers admitted during an interview with the SBI that he told the trooper he had a gun in his glove compartment, and that the officer should have believed it was a gun, not just a BB gun. Rogers admitted that he did not tell the trooper it was just a BB gun because he was scared.
He told the SBI he purchased the weapon at Walmart for protection. The air pistol resembled a Glock handgun and had no orange tip like most BB guns.
District Attorney Doyle announced that after a thorough review of the SBI report and meeting with the investigating officer, Assistant Special Agent in Charge N.H. Thompson, that Sgt. Dorsey was legally justified in his use of force.
State law authorizes a law enforcement officer to use deadly force upon another person to defend himself or a third person from what the officer believes to be imminent use of deadly physical force.
In the release, Doyle stated, “Officers must often make split-second decisions regarding their use of force. Under the circumstances observed by Sgt. J.M. Dorsey, his use of force was both reasonable and warranted. As a result no criminal charges against Sgt. Dorsey will be filed related to this incident.”