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Franklin officers return to work after deadly shooting

law enforcementTwo officers with the Franklin Police Department are back on duty while the N.C. State Bureau of Investigations continues to look into a deadly shooting involving the officers.

Patrol Sgt. Tony Ashe and Patrol Officer Kevin Breedlove were placed on paid administrative leave following a June 30 incident in which Clay Alan Lickteig was shot and killed. 

According to SBI spokesperson Teresa West, the officers were attempting to serve a felony probation violation warrant on Lickteig about 9:30 p.m. at a residence on Woodland Hills Drive when the shooting occurred. Lickteig was pronounced dead on the scene. 

“Lickteig reportedly fired the first shots and Breedlove returned fire, striking and killing Lickteig. Ashe did not fire his weapon,” West said. 

According to Police Chief David Adams, Breedlove and Ashe returned to work July 8 even though the chief medical examiner office hasn’t released an autopsy report and the SBI hasn’t completed its investigation. 

While some departments may have policies outlining how long officers involved in a shooting must remain on leave, Adams said the Franklin Police Department didn’t have any written rules on the matter. 

“With a lot of departments, if it looks pretty clear-cut and officers did what was required, they let them come back,” Adams said. “And it looks good from our perspective. The officers were fired at first and they were just defending themselves.”

Adams said autopsy reports can take months to be completed and the SBI won’t release any other information until the investigation is complete. 

Ashe, 43, has been with the Franklin Police Department for 21 years, while Breedlove, 25, has been with the department for a little more than a year.

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