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Horse Play Leads to Justifiable Shooting

Brunswick County North Carolina – Law enforcement officials say no charges will be filed against a man who shot another man who broke through the door of his Oak Island Motel room.

The Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office says they will not be charging 39-year-old Bryan Lopes after he shot 47-year-old Paul Dodson at the Ocean Crest Motel.

Lopes said he was asleep in bed at around 12:00 a.m. when he was awakened by the sound of a loud disturbance outside his motel room. Lopes grabbed a pistol from the nightstand beside his bed and went to investigate the noises.

He approached the door and was about to look through the peephole when the door crashed open. It slammed into Lopes who fell back against the wall. Dodson stumbled into the room towards the bed with Lopes’ wife still in it and Lopes fired one shot which struck Dodson in the shoulder.

Dodson and his friends told investigators they had gone to dinner, then to the bar where they consumed “significant quantities” of alcohol. As they were returning to their room, Dodson and his friends began horsing around.

When Dodson leaned against the door of Lopes’ room, his friend playfully shoved him hard enough to break through the bolted door where he stumbled towards the bed containing Lopes’ wife and was shot.

The DA says they will not be pursuing charges against Lopes since they believe the shooting to be justifiable as self-defense.

According to the press release from the Brunswick County DA:

“After consultation with our law enforcement partners from the Oak Island Police Department and a review of all available evidence, including witness statements, photographs, and video surveillance footage from the motel… Lopes was legally justified in using deadly force under the ‘defense of habitation’ doctrine.”

Dodson was taken to the hospital for treatment of his gunshot wound and listed in stable condition. No one else was hurt.


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