Sheriff’s Office: Man charged with filing false report after accidentally shooting himself

Jeffrey Steele – Picture courtesy of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office

PRESS RELEASE

Sheriff Darren Campbell stated that on Thursday November 16, 2017 deputies with the Sheriff’s Office responded to 1327 Mt. Olive Rd. Statesville, to a report from a caller stated that her husband had been shot in the lower leg. Deputies arrived on scene and found Jeffrey Steele laying on the front porch at 1327 Mt. Olive Road. After the Sheriff’s Office secured the scene, EMS arrived and began treatment on Mr. Steele. Steele stated that a black male came up on his porch, pulled out a gun, and shot him when he told the male that he couldn’t go inside the house. Deputies began searching the area for the unidentified black male that had shot Steele in the leg.

Detectives arrived on scene as Steele was being cared for by EMS. Investigators found Steel sitting on his front porch with wounds to his lower right leg. Steele was quickly transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem. A detective with the Sheriff’s Office responded to Baptist Hospital as well, so additional information could be gathered from Steele.

Crime Scene Deputies and investigators searched the area where the incident occurred for any evidence that may have been left behind by the unidentified person who shot Steele. Detectives talked with the victim’s wife and a family friend who was at the home when incident occurred. Detectives also spoke with all neighbors in the area gathering information and searching for leads in this incident.

Later during the investigation, while the detective were with Steele at the hospital, it was learned that Steele had injuries to his lower leg that were consistent with an entry and exit gunshot wound. Also, detectives learned that Steele had an additional burn mark on his upper right thigh area. Detectives were given conflicting stories from the victim and the two people also known to be in the home at the time of the shooting.

As the investigation continued detectives drove back to 1327 Mt. Olive Road during the daylight hours to view the crime scene again. Detectives located an indention in the floor on the porch that had been covered in blood the night of the incident. The indention in the floor indicated that the bullet from the gun was traveling in a downward direction when it hit the floor of the porch. This evidence also conflicted with the story the victim had given.

When all the evidence was gathered throughout the investigation, it was determined that the gun was fired from the right front upper thigh area of the victim Jeffrey Steele. Evidence indicated that Steele had shot himself.

Steele was confronted with what the evidence had been revealed, and Steele then admitted that he had accidently shot himself with a revolver. Steele said that he was trying to get the handgun from the right front pocket of his pants when the gun went off. Steele said that the reason that he made up the story, that someone had shot him, was because he panicked and did not know what to tell law enforcement. Steele stated that on the night of the accident that he asked his wife and friend to get rid of the gun before law enforcement arrived on scene.

Jeffrey Eugene Steele at 1327 Mt. Olive Road, Statesville has been charged with (1) Count of Filing a False Report to a Law Enforcement Agency. Steele has been given a court date of January 22, 2018 at 9:00 am at the Iredell County Courthouse.

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