Orange County deputies cleared in fatal shooting of home invasion suspect

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Orange County deputies cleared in fatal shooting of suspect.
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Two Orange County deputies will not face charges in the shooting death of Keo Crockett, a home invasion suspect.

HILLSBOROUGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The Orange County District Attorney said Tuesday that no criminal charges will be filed against two deputies who were involved in an armed exchange that left a home-invasion suspect dead.

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The incident happened in Efland in February.

Mebane Police called for assistance around 11 p.m. Feb. 18 after a suspect reportedly broke into a home on Virginia Lee Lane and assaulted the two occupants.

Authorities said the suspect, Keo Crockett, was armed and had fired the gun during the invasion.

ORIGINAL STORY: Orange County deputies shoot and kill home invasion suspect near Efland

Deputies tracked Crockett to his home in Efland off Virginia Lee Lane. A deputy knocked on the front door and a front window. While knocking on the door and then the window beside the front door, the deputies did not announce themselves, because they reasonably believed they might be fired upon from inside the residence.

Crockett exited holding a "large caliber handgun," which they said he raised and pointed at the deputies.

The deputies fired shots, mortally wounding Crockett, who died of his injuries despite efforts at CPR by deputies and EMS personnel.

RELATED: Neighbor says he saw Orange Co. deputies shoot suspect

District Attorney James Woodall's report said deputies Bryan Ashley and Tyler Chelenza were justified in using deadly force against Keo Crockett on Feb. 18.

Chelenza fired his handgun but did not strike Crockett, the report said. Ashley, using an Orange County issued AR-15 rifle with a flashlight mounted on the barrel, hit Crockett four times in the abdomen.

Deputies found Crockett's wife inside the home. She had no knowledge of her husband's earlier suspect crime activity.

"After a comprehensive review of the applicable law, evidence, and circumstances surrounding the use of deadly force, it is my conclusion that both Deputy Ashley (who fired all the shots that struck and killed Mr. Crockett) and Deputy Chelenza acted lawfully on February 18, 2017," Woodall wrote. "OCSO deputies are not issued body worn cameras and no video or audio recordings of the incident are known to exist."

Crockett had no illegal substances in his system at the time of his death, the report stated.

The SBI assisted in investigating the incident.