More than 24 hours after a Black man was fatally shot by a North Carolina deputy, grieving loved ones and frustrated protesters awaited details to piece together what happened.
Andrew Brown Jr. was killed early Wednesday morning in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, said Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten. The deputy was executing a search warrant, and he has since been placed on leave pending investigation, he said.
For many, the sense of relief brought by the guilty verdict for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on Tuesday in the murder of George Floyd was short-lived. Reports of more police killings emerged just hours later, including that of Brown and 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant who was fatally shot Tuesday night by police officers in Columbus, Ohio.
Crowds of people — dozens at the scene of the shooting and later hundreds protesting in the streets of Elizabeth City — called for police to release more details immediately, including body camera footage. Elizabeth City is about 170 miles northeast of Raleigh.
“The people of Elizabeth City … they desire a right to know what took place this morning,” City Councilman Darius J. Horton said Wednesday. “There is a moment of hurt in Elizabeth City.”
The deputy, who has not been identified, was serving a search warrant at Brown’s rental home Wednesday morning when Brown was fatally shot around around 8:30 a.m. According to a witness, Brown was trying to drive away.
Demetria Williams, Brown’s neighbor, told the Associated Press she ran outside after hearing a gunshot and then saw the deputy firing multiple times at Brown. She also said the car skidded from Brown’s yard and hit a tree.
“When they opened the door he was already dead,” Williams said. “He was slumped over.” She said officers attempted chest compressions on Brown.
Authorities removed a car from the scene that appeared to have multiple bullet holes and a broken rear windshield, the Associated Press reported.
What do we know about the deputy?
Sheriff Tommy Wooten II said at a news conference Wednesday the deputy was wearing a body camera and has been placed on leave.
Wooten did not identify the deputy. He also did not say how many shots were fired or what the warrant against Brown was for.
“What we are looking for at this time will be accurate answers and not fast answers,” District Attorney Andrew Womble Womble told a news conference. “We’re going to wait for the full and complete investigation … and we’ll review that and make any determinations that we deem appropriate at that time. This will not be a rush to judgment.”
Who was Andrew Brown Jr.?
Williams said neighbors knew Brown, 42, as Drew and that he wasn’t a violent person.
“He wasn’t a threat to (officers). He was driving off even though he was trying to get away,” Williams said.
Brown’s aunt, Martha McCullen, who said she raised him after his parents died, described him as a good person and father.
“The police didn’t have to shoot my baby,” she told the Associated Press. “He was about to get his kids back…Now his kids won’t never see him again.”
He had 10 children, WAVY-TV reported.
Court records show Brown had a history of drug charges and a misdemeanor drug possession conviction.
Contributing: The Associated Press