No charges for officers who shot, killed armed suspect after chase that ended in Raleigh DA says

WTVD logo
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
No charges for officers in deadly shooting of suspect
No charges will be filed in a case where a man wanted in a Cumberland County murder was killed in an exchange of gunfire with law officers

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- No charges will be filed in a case where a man wanted in a Cumberland County murder investigation was killed in an exchange of gunfire with a state trooper and a deputy, the Wake County District Attorney's Office said Tuesday.

Jaylen L. Routt, 20, was shot and killed by a trooper and deputy after a high-speed chase that spanned from Johnston County and ended in downtown Raleigh.

The chase started at 1:08 a.m. on Sept. 1 in Johnston County when a state trooper tried to pull over a Nissan Rogue that was going over 100 mph in a 70 mph zone. That chase continued until the suspect exited on Hammond Road in Raleigh. Routt crashed in a grassy lot at the intersection of East Street and Branch Street, NCSHP said.

As law enforcement tried to take him into custody, Routt tried to reverse the car in the direction of the officers but his car got stuck, Master Trooper Harrison Nazal broke the glass out of the back driver's side window with his flashlight but Routt continued to ignore commands to get out of the car.

The report said that officers tried to deploy a stun gun through the broken window, but Routt raised a firearm in the direction of Deputy McCoy of the Johnston County Sheriff's Office and fired a shot.

McCoy fell to the ground yelling gun, and Nazal opened fire, "emptying his magazine in continuous shots at the vehicle in an attempt to prevent Mr. Routt from continuing to shoot at the officers."

McCoy got up and also fired multiple shots at Routt. When officers approached Routt, they found a Glock 22 .40 caliber handgun in his possession.

Wake County Emergency Medical Services and Raleigh Fire Department responded to the scene to render aid, and Routt was taken to WakeMed where he later died.

Preliminary autopsy results indicated that Routt had been shot six times, including wounds to the head and abdomen where major organs were struck. The final autopsy is pending.

Witnesses who lived in the neighborhood corroborated the accounts of law officers. One of these witnesses also had a video she had taken with her cell phone in which the commands from law enforcement to Routt and the firing of weapons were clearly audible.

Another witness said that though he didn't see Routt fire a shot, he did hear one and saw the law officers jump back before they opened fire.

Radio traffic and dashcam videos from the Highway Patrol were collected and reviewed. There were no bodycams worn by the officers involved.

District Attorney Lorrin Freeman wrote that her office concluded "that the fatal use of force was justified and that no charges will be pursued against the officers."

"The evidence supports a finding that officers on scene had a reasonable belief that they were in imminent danger of deadly harm," Freeman wrote. "A review of all the available evidence in this case leads to a conclusion that the use of force was lawful and that a prosecution is not sustainable."

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said at the time that Routt was wanted in the murder of Anthony Adams back in January 2021 in Fayetteville.