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District attorney says no officer will be criminally charged in Brown shooting

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57 min ago

District attorney says no officer will be criminally charged in Brown shooting

WTVD
WTVD

Pasquotank County District attorney Andrew Womble said that after reviewing the evidence in the investigation into the fatal police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. he has concluded that “no officer will be criminally charged.”

“The actions were consistent with the training and fully supported under the law in protecting their lives and this community,” Womble said.

The news conference is ongoing.

1 hr 6 min ago

District attorney: Three deputies fired shots during the encounter with Brown

Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble said that a review of body camera footage from the shooting showed that “multiple shots were fired in rapid succession by three deputies.” 

He said that he found no evidence that the number of shots fired by the deputies was excessive, adding that “even if there are an excessive number of shots, the question is whether the perceived threat has been neutralized for the safety of law enforcement officers present.” 

He said that the sheriff’s deputies used the amount of force “deemed reasonably appropriate” by them.

44 min ago

District attorney: Autopsy determined Brown died from “multiple gunshot wounds”

Ulysses Edwards paints a portrait of Andrew Brown Jr. on the side of a house near where he was killed in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
Ulysses Edwards paints a portrait of Andrew Brown Jr. on the side of a house near where he was killed in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

District Attorney Andrew Womble said that an autopsy was conducted on Andrew Brown Jr. on April 22, the day after he was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies.

Womble said that the forensic pathologist that conducted the autopsy determined that Brown suffered two gunshot wounds. Brown was shot in the right shoulder and the back of the head at the base of the skull, the autopsy showed.

Womble said the forensic pathologist determined the cause of death to be “multiple gunshot wounds.”

The district attorney noted that although the autopsy and toxicology reports have not been finalized at this time, he had telephone contact on May 12 with the forensic pathologist that conducted the autopsy.

1 hr 15 min ago

The district attorney is showing body camera videos from the scene of the shooting

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WTVD

District Attorney Andrew Womble is playing body-camera videos from the shooting incident on April 21 at a news conference.

Andrew Brown Jr. was fatally shot April 21 when Pasquotank County deputies in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, were trying to execute a warrant.

Earlier, Womble provided detail on what he said the videos depicted from the incident. He said in total, the incident lasted 44 seconds.

“The total length of officer involvement with Mr. Brown from the time they exited the vehicle until Mr. Brown was removed from the vehicle is 44 seconds,” Womble told reporters.

The news conference is ongoing.

50 min ago

District attorney outlines how the fatal encounter between Andrew Brown Jr. and officers took place

From CNN’s Adrienne Vogt

Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble showed images from body camera footage of how the encounter between Andrew Brown Jr. and officers took place.

A deputy approached Brown’s car from the passenger side, according to Womble, and Brown was holding up his phone when law enforcement approached.

“Brown threw the phone down and began to rapidly back his car away from the officers. Deputy Lunsford’s hand was still on the driver’s door handle as Brown’s car reversed and the handle was snatched out of his hand. At this moment, Deputy Lunsford yelled out and Deputy Lunsford was pulled over the hood of Brown’s vehicle, where his body and his safety equipment were struck by the vehicle. Deputy Lunsford’s left arm was squarely on the hood. Deputy Lunsford took evasive action to get out of the way of the front left tire of Brown’s vehicle,” Womble said.

Womble said that law enforcement demands got “more heated,” and Brown did not stop his car.

“As Brown’s car starts forward, Deputy Lunsford was now positioned directly in front of the vehicle and all officers were shouting commands to stop. Brown ignored the commands and drove directly at Deputy Lunsford,” according to Womble.

“According to the North Carolina Justice Academy forensic analyst Casson Reynolds, the first shot was fired by Sergeant Meads, and it entered the front windshield of Mr. Brown’s car,” Womble said, repeating the statement.

Several more shots were fired, with one striking Brown in the shoulder and others entering the car. 

Brown accelerated across an empty lot, then “narrowly missed” striking a van operated by investigators, according to Womble.

His car struck a tree, and “the county team gave chase, removed Brown from the driver’s seat and life-saving efforts were immediately begun,” Womble said.  

Some more background: In the aftermath of the shooting, Pasquotank Sheriff Tommy Wooten put seven deputies on administrative leave. He has since reinstated four deputies he said did not fire their weapons. The three who did fire remain on leave.

Members of Brown’s family were allowed by a court order to view some body camera footage of his death, but they and members of the community have called for the public release of the videos.

CNN’s Madeline Holcombe and Eric Levenson contributed reporting to this post.

28 min ago

District attorney: Deputies who fatally shot Brown were justified in using deadly force

Andrew Womble, Pasquotank County’s district attorney, said at a news conference today that Andrew Brown Jr.’s death “while tragic was justified.”

“Mr. Brown’s death, while tragic, was justified because Mr. Brown’s actions caused three deputies to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others,” Womble said.

Womble is providing details on the police investigation of Brown leading up to the shooting on April 21. He said that Brown was a “known drug dealer” and that law enforcement investigations began “in the weeks prior” to his death.

According to Womble, two undercover officers bought cocaine and heroin from Brown on March 17 2021 and March 29, 2021.

Arrest warrants for the sale of controlled substances were issued on April 20, said Womble.

The news conference is ongoing.

1 hr 40 min ago

NOW: District attorney holds news conference on deputy shooting of Andrew Brown Jr.

From CNN’s Madeline Holcombe

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WTVD

District Attorney Andrew Womble is holding a news conference now and is expected to reveal the findings of a North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) probe into the deputy shooting of Andrew Brown Jr.

Brown was fatally shot by Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies in Elizabeth City on April 21 when they attempted to serve him with an arrest warrant, according to the sheriff’s office.

A source with knowledge told CNN that the Brown family has not received any advanced information on the findings.

Womble, the district attorney for Pasquotank and nearby counties, has said Brown’s moving vehicle made contact with law enforcement officers twice before the deputies opened fire. The family attorneys dispute that account.

Read more about the case here.

1 hr 40 min ago

Andrew Brown Jr. posed no threat to officers, his attorney says

From CNN’s Amir Vera and Keith Allen

Chance Lynch, one of the Brown family attorneys, said he and the family were able to watch body and dash camera footage of Andrew Brown Jr.’s death last Tuesday, which they said proved police were unjustified in shooting him.

Brown was fatally shot April 21 when Pasquotank County deputies in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, were trying to execute a warrant.

Lynch said he saw Brown sitting in his vehicle when officers arrived and started yelling different things at Brown like “show your hands” or “get out.”

“At all times his hands were visible, you could see he was not a threat,” Lynch said. “It was so much yelling, we could barely understand what was happening.”

A shot was fired, Lynch said, and Brown put his car in reverse several feet from where the officers were standing.

“At no point did we see any police officers behind his vehicle,” Lynch said. “At no point did we see Mr. Brown make contact with law enforcement.”

District Attorney Andrew Womble, who is responsible for the district that includes Pasquotank County, said officers fired when the car Brown was driving moved toward them and the car made contact with officers at least two times before shots were fired.

Lynch said he did see officers firing their weapons at Brown’s car. He found it difficult to count how many shots were fired.

“When they approached the vehicle, we counted approximately six if not more bullet holes in the passenger side of his car,” Lynch said. “Windows were shattered. We were able to see one shot in the front windshield and approximately six (bullet holes) in the back windshield.”

Lynch said at some point there was a “final shot” at which point Brown lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a tree across the street. Officers pulled Brown’s body out of the car and laid him face first on the ground. No weapons were found in Brown’s car after police searched it.

“It was absolutely, unequivocally unjustified,” Lynch said. “Our legal team is more committed now to pursue justice … because what we saw today was unconstitutional and it was unjustifiable.”

The district attorney will hold a news conference shortly “to discuss the results” of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation’s probe into Brown’s fatal shooting.

2 hr 21 min ago

The Brown family viewed police body camera video last week

From CNN’s Amir Vera and Keith Allen

Andrew Brown Jr.‘s family members viewed body and dash camera footage of his death last Tuesday, which they said proved police were unjustified in shooting him.

Brown was fatally shot April 21 when Pasquotank County deputies in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, were trying to execute a warrant.

Chance Lynch, one of the Brown family attorneys, said he and the family were able to watch six videos. The first video was a dash camera video with no sound, and the last five were all body camera footage.

“We were able to see some critical footage that yields some truth and transparency to what we thought we would see from the beginning,” Lynch said during a news conference last Tuesday.

Pasquotank County Chief Deputy Daniel Fogg said last Tuesday the video showed the attempt to serve an arrest warrant against Brown, as well as officers attempts to provide Brown medical care after the shooting.

“It was my hope that we will be able to release the video publicly so everyone could see for themselves what happened,” Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten added. “We respect the court’s decision and took an oath to abide by north Carolina law and we’ve done just that.”

The family and attorney’s viewing of the video came after Judge Jeff Foster issued a written order allowing for Brown’s family and one of their legal representatives to view the videos — but they will not be allowed to receive copies or make recordings.

Lynch said he saw Brown sitting in his vehicle when officers arrived and started yelling different things at Brown like “show your hands” or “get out.”

“At all times his hands were visible, you could see he was not a threat,” Lynch said. “It was so much yelling, we could barely understand what was happening.”

Read more here.

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