The District Attorney’s Office has found no evidence of criminal misconduct against two Hickory police officers involved in a fatal shooting in June, authorities say.
Hickory police said the two officers involved in the shooting of 21-year-old Drew Marian Spencer of Taylorsville will return to active duty this week. They had been on paid leave during the investigation.
The shooting took place about 3:40 a.m. June 2 in the parking lot of the Kangaroo Express, in the 2800 block of North Center Street. Police said officers had walked toward a city of Hickory work truck that had pulled into the lot.
The officers said they recognized the truck from a police call a few hours earlier at a restaurant nearby.
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Police said that while questioning the driver, the man pointed a handgun at an officer. The officer said he retreated from the truck, and the two officers opened fire. Investigators said Hickory police found a spent shell casing in the man’s weapon and said the gun apparently malfunctioned after one shot was fired.
Police also said they determined the truck had been stolen from a Hickory city employee’s house.
In a letter to Hickory officials, District Attorney Jay Gaither’s office wrote, “In making our determination, we have considered the events and circumstances surrounding Mr. Spencer’s detainment, statements by non-law enforcement witnesses, interviews of the officers present, as well as the surveillance footage of the incident.”
Hickory police Chief Tom Adkins called the loss of life “a tragedy” but added, “In a deadly force incident, officers are trained to protect their own lives and the lives of their colleagues from those who would use deadly force against them.”