A 20-year-old man who was shot and killed by a Randolph County Sheriff's deputy early Tuesday morning has been identified as Cole Steele Jessup.
The deputy was patrolling on Joe Branson Road just off N.C. 22/42 around 12:43 a.m. when he reported seeing a tractor being driven erratically in the middle of the road without its headlights on. He tried to stop the tractor but said the driver continued through a yard, causing damage.
Jessup then turned the tractor toward the deputy's vehicle, the deputy said. He rammed the patrol vehicle three times and nearly rolled the car over, the report states. Saying he feared for his life, the deputy then shot Jessup.
The deputy was not injured and was placed on administrative leave as is protocol. The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating.
The tractor was confirmed as stolen and belongs to Meadow Farms Inc.
In August 2018, Jessup was convicted in Randolph County for resisting an officer and carrying a concealed weapon. He received a suspended sentence for both offenses.
In June 2018, Jessup was convicted in Chatham County of assault with a deadly weapon. He received 18 months probation.
In December 2016, Jessup was charged in Randolph County with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury in a shooting. The outcome of that case is unknown.