RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) -- Family confirmed 20-year-old Cole Jessup was killed when a deputy shot and killed him Monday night in Randolph County. A deputy says Jessup nearly ran over his patrol car with a tractor.
At about 12:43 a.m. Tuesday morning, a deputy was patrolling on Joe Branson Road, just off of NC 22/42, when he saw a tractor driving erratically in the middle of the road without its headlights on.
The deputy tried to pull over the driver but the tractor kept going, driving through a yard and causing damage, before turning around toward the deputy.
The tractor, which has been confirmed as stolen and belonging to Meadow Farms Inc., then allegedly rammed the patrol car three times, almost rolling the car over.
Fearing that the nearly 7,000-pound machine could roll over his car and kill him, the deputy shot the driver.
Jessup died at the scene.
Jessup had just been released from jail Sunday after he was arrested on charges of fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, driving while license revoked, reckless driving to endanger and failure to stop for a stop sign. He was scheduled to appear in court Monday.
In 2016, he was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, according to a news release from the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office.
This is the third deputy-involved shooting this summer. Sheriff Gregory Seabolt says this may be connected to a spike in drug issues in the county.