A North Carolina lawmaker shot and killed a black man while carrying out a search warrant, angered a crowd of dozens who immediately gathered at the scene and demanded accountability from law enforcement, authorities said.
Sheriff Tommy Wooten II said at a news conference that the vice mayor of Bascotank County has been on leave pending a review of the state’s Bureau of Investigation. He said the attorney shot Andrew Brown Jr. at around 8:30 a.m. while carrying out the order with the help of a nearby mayor’s office in Elizabeth City, a municipality of about 18,000 people 170 miles (274 km) northeast of Raleigh.
Wooten said he does not know Omar Brown and has not revealed the name of the deputy. Local NAACP leader Keith Rivers said Brown was black.
Wooten, who refused to disclose how many shots fired by the attorney or publish any other details, said the attorney was wearing an active body camera at the time of the shooting, citing a review pending by the State Investigation Office. WAVY-TV reported that neighbors heard multiple shots.
Among the nearly 100 people gathered at the scene of the shooting was Keith Rivers, the head of the NAACP’s Bascotank County Branch, who criticized the mayor’s office for spending hours publishing the details.
“When will you stop?” Rivers said in a telephone interview, referring to Tuesday’s convictions in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the fatal shooting of George Floyd. “Is it open season now? At some point, it should stop. We have to start holding those responsible accountable. “
Brown’s grandmother, Lydia Brown, and his aunt, Clarissa Brown Gibson, told The Associated Press that they learned of his death through a TV news report. Both said they wanted a thorough investigation into the shooting.
“I am very upset.” Said Lydia Brown. The deputy “didn’t have to shoot him that way.”
Clarissa Brown-Gibson said, “We want to know if a court order has been issued against him, so why shoot a warrant?”
The State Bureau of Investigation will forward the findings of its review to Attorney General Andrew Wumble, who has undertaken a thorough and thoughtful investigation.
“What we are looking for at this time will be accurate answers, not quick answers,” Wamble said at the news conference. “We will wait for a full and complete investigation … We will review that and take any decisions we deem appropriate at that time. This will not be a rush to judgment.”