Wake Forest, North Carolina, might be a quaint little town and the original site of Wake Forest University (which is now located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina), but it was also recently the scene of a hair-raising attempted home invasion and defensive shooting.
That incident occurred on the night of Monday, October 23, at around 3:20 a.m. That night, an alleged intruder was shot dead by a homeowner who opened fire after catching the alleged intruder allegedly trying to make a forcible entry into the home.
The Wake Forest Police Department distributed information on the defensive shooting shortly after it occurred, writing, on Facebook, “Wake Forest Police investigating shooting along Abercrombie Road. At approximately 3:20 a.m., Wake Forest Police responded to a reported shooting along the 100 block of Abercrombie Road. Upon arrival, officers located one individual suffering from a gunshot wound. Officers and detectives are currently on scene determining the circumstances surrounding this incident.”
Continuing its original post, the department added, “The presence of officers along Abercrombie Road is related to the shooting and the ongoing investigation. This appears to be an isolated incident, and there is no danger to the public. Additional information will be released as it becomes available. This incident is under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Tip Line at 919-435-9610. You may remain anonymous.”
Two updates to the post then followed up that original message to the community as the Wake Forest Police Department managed to investigate the shooting and discover details about what transpired and who was involved.
The first update, distributed shortly before 8:00 a.m. on the same morning, said, “***UPDATE – The gunshot victim died as a result of his injuries. This remains an active investigation and no further details are available at this time.”
The second update identified the alleged intruder who was shot and described what alleged actions of his led to the shooting, saying, “***UPDATE – The gunshot victim in today’s shooting has been identified as Steven Dallas Contestable, 1205 Pinewood Lane, Raleigh. According to police, Contestable, age 34, was attempting to break into the home along Abercrombie Road when he was confronted by one of the homeowners, who is a legal gun owner. The homeowner gave repeated verbal warnings before shooting Contestable who had broken several panes of glass on the door while attempting to gain entry.”
That update also noted that the homeowner has not been charged after a preliminary investigation into the matter, “Based on the results of the preliminary investigation, no charges have been filed against the homeowner.”
North Carolina’s Castle Law provides that, if certain conditions are met, “The lawful occupant of a home, motor vehicle, or workplace is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily harm to another.”
The two required conditions are “(1) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a home, motor vehicle, or workplace, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the home, motor vehicle, or workplace” and “(2) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.”
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