A North Carolina man was killed by police who had been called to search his property early Wednesday, police said.
The man, identified by relatives as Andrew Brown, 40, was driving away from officers in Elizabeth City when they shot him around 8:30 a.m., according to police and local TV station WAVY.
“During the execution of the search warrant, a citizen who was subject to the search warrant was shot and fatally wounded,” the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation will take over the probe, according to the sheriff, and the city council has called an emergency meeting for Wednesday evening. The sheriff’s department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
At an afternoon press briefing, Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten said the deputy was equipped with a bodycam and that it was on at the time — but would not say when it might be released.
The sheriff did confirm that Brown was the victim.
“The sheriff’s office has complete trust in the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation and its ability to complete this investigation,” Wooten said.
“The sheriff’s office will be transparent and take the proper actions based on the findings of the SBI’s investigation.”
Wooten would not say what type of search warrant deputies were executing when Brown was shot, nor identify the deputy involved.
He added that a “team of local law enforcement” had been called in “to ensure the safety and protection of the citizens of our community.”
The sheriff did not provide additional details on that decision.
SBI Special Agent Masha Rogers and Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble also refused to provide more information on the fatal shooting, saying they would await the outcome of the probe.
The police shooting death comes amid heightened anxieties a day after former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd. Also Tuesday, police in Columbus, Ohio, shot and killed a black 16-year-old, Ma’Khia Bryant, who was allegedly wielding a knife.
Keith Rivers, president of the Pasquotank County NAACP, said police had not spoken to family members until he arrived and put pressure on authorities to release information.
“The sheriff needs to address these people,” he told WAVY, gesturing at a crowd that had gathered on Brown’s street. “In light of everything that’s going in America with the shooting of unarmed black men, I came down to make sure that the facts are clearly disseminated.”
He called for bodycam footage of the incident to be released immediately, though it was not yet clear if video of the incident had been taken.
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