Earlier this month, footage of a disturbing police-involved shooting was publicly released. A home surveillance video showed a husband and his wife sleeping in their mobile home when they were awakened by cops on speakers demanding they come outside. Tired and discombobulated, the North Carolina couple obliged. As the man opened the door with his hands up, within seconds, he was shot several times and fell backward onto his floor.
The victim was later identified as 41-year-old Jason Harley Kloepfer. Authorities confirmed the incident happened on Dec. 12 in Murphy, North Carolina. Law enforcement officials were dispatched to the scene for what was believed to be an armed, hostage situation. On Dec. 13, Cherokee County Sheriff Dustin Smith addressed the shooting in a Facebook post. Apparently, after “recognizing there was an armed suspect present and the potential for a hostage situation,” the Cherokee Indian Police Department SWAT Team showed up at the residence. From there, Kloepfer is accused of engaging “in a verbal altercation with officers” and “confronted” them before being shot.
After the footage was made public, Smith refuted his initial claims. “Neither myself nor Chief Deputy Justin Jacobs were on the scene at the time of the shooting, so we relied on information provided to us from the Cherokee Indian Police Department,” he said on Facebook last week. He added, “The first time I ever saw video footage from the shooting was on Jan. 18, 2023.” Without a single apology to the disabled resident, the sheriff seemingly blamed the incident on his department not having its “own tactical team” to handle hostage situations. “I will be asking county commissioners for the funds to create such a unit when budget negotiations for the next fiscal year begin,” he continued.
In the video footage, members of the North Carolina SWAT team are heard saying, “F**k, bro, f**k!” Another one alerts his peers that their unjust actions were filmed, adding, “Hey, cameras, cameras!” Kloepfer suffered from multiple gunshot wounds and was charged with communicating threats and resist, obstruct and delay. “I can’t talk [too] much about details right now as this is [a] major, major case [that’s] still evolving,” Kloepfer shared on Facebook on Jan. 20.
See Kloepfer’s statement below.