N. Carolina Trooper Shoots Driver After Confrontation

February 12, 2017 Updated: February 12, 2017
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DURHAM, N.C.—A North Carolina Highway Patrolman shot a 31-year-old man to death Sunday during an “armed confrontation” when he fled following a traffic stop, authorities said.

The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the shooting, which happened at around 1 a.m. Sunday in Durham County.

Trooper Jerimy Mathis tried to stop a driver for a lane violation and erratic driving. At first, Willard Eugene Scott Jr. refused to stop, then ultimately got out of his vehicle and fled on foot, according to the Highway Patrol.

Mathis and Scott got into an altercation and Mathis fired his gun, striking Scott, who later died of his injuries at a hospital, the patrol said.

Authorities haven’t said explicitly that Scott was armed, but the Public Safety Department said in a news release that a handgun found at the scene did not belong to the Highway Patrol.

Mathis is a 20-year veteran of the patrol. He is on leave while state authorities investigate, which is standard practice.