Clinton officers cleared in shooting death

CLINTON (AP) — North Carolina authorities have cleared eight officers who fatally shot a 53-year-old white man, striking him 14 times, after he pointed a shotgun at them.

Sampson County District Attorney Ernie Lee ruled the May 29 shooting in a Burger King parking lot justified, local media outlets report Monday.

“No criminal charges in the matter are warranted under the law,” Lee wrote in an 11-page report, which was based on a state investigation.

The report says officers tried for nearly 20 minutes to get John Coffey of Warsaw to put down the gun. Seven Clinton officers and a highway trooper fired 143 shots in less than a minute after Coffey opened the door of his pickup.

An autopsy showed Coffey was shot in the head, shoulders, neck and torso.

Lee says a state investigation found Coffey never fired his shotgun. It was not loaded.

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