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Randolph County deputy cleared in fatal shooting of 20-year-old man, authorities say

Randolph County deputy cleared in fatal shooting of 20-year-old man, authorities say

Cole Jessup


BENNETT — A Randolph County deputy was cleared after shooting and killing a 20-year-old who rammed a tractor into the deputy's patrol car last year, a news release from Randolph County District Attorney Andy Gregson said. 

Gregson said the N.C. SBI was asked to investigate the fatal deputy-involved shooting after Cole Steele Jessup, 20, was killed by Deputy Adam Hicks. 

The SBI's investigation determined that Hicks tried to stop a tractor driving without lights in the middle of Joe Branson Road in Bennett about 12:43 a.m. on Aug. 13, 2019.

The tractor, later determined to be stolen, didn't stop and left the road to drive through a yard and field before returning to the roadway, Gregson said. The tractor intentionally ran into Hick's patrol car multiple times. 

When Hicks saw a motorcycle traveling towards the tractor and his patrol car, Gregson said the tractor intentionally crashed into the patrol car again, causing Hicks to lose control. Gregson said Hicks fired his weapon multiple times from inside his vehicle. 

Jessup was struck five times and was killed. Jessup's autopsy said he died from gunshot wounds and also mentioned "methamphetamine intoxication."

Gregson concluded that when Hicks fired at Jessup he was "presented with an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury." 

Gregson said Hicks' use of deadly force was "reasonable and necessary under the circumstances" and called his actions "lawful, justified and proper."

Contact Jamie Biggs at 336-373-4476 and follow @JamieBiggsNR on Twitter.

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