Felony charges unlikely in Gates Four shooting

Two wounded by gun when an argument between food delivery man and resident in a driveway gets physical
March 12, 2014 2:13:12 PM PDT
Legal counsel for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday it is unlikely felony charges will be filed in a shooting case that happened earlier this week in a private residential community.

Ronnie Mitchell, an attorney for CCSO, said he wanted to clear up misconception about the case.

"One of the things that most people do not understand is that assault by pointing a gun or assault by a deadly weapon is not a felony offense," he said.

On Monday evening, investigators say 48-year-old Gerald Lord was in the Gates Four community to make a delivery for GoWaiter.com, a restaurant-style service. Lord pulled into a different driveway on the 6800 block of Towbridge Rd., to make a phone call.

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That's where 18-year-old Thomas Jacobs lives with a guardian. Authorities said the Jack Britt High School student asked Lord to get off the property. Lord, who is black, reports the white teen threw racial slurs out, and authorities said Lord took his time getting off the property.

Once Lord made his delivery, authorities said he turned around, parked his truck in front of the teen's house, and confronted him in the driveway with a gun. Lord reported the teen was armed with a baseball bat. The two got into a brawl, with the high school wrestler body-slamming the delivery man, said Mitchell.

"Lord's handgun was discharged, striking him apparently in the forearm, and either the bullet or the hot barrel of the handgun touched Jacob's neck," said Mitchell.

Both men were transported to the hospital. At this point, it does appear the teen's injuries are serious enough to meet the requirement for felony charges. The teen has not pressed assault charges with the magistrate, at this point, but authorities say the District Attorney's Office will most likely will pursue misdemeanor assault charges, as well as trespassing.

"This isn't the Wild West. I know some people would like to turn it into it, it's not," said Mitchell. "And we're going to investigate where we believe criminal activity (happened)."

Mitchell said the Office is not calling the incident racially motivated at this point.

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