“It has been a tragic day,” the sheriff told reporters.
A sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a black man while executing a search warrant in North Carolina on Wednesday, authorities said.
The shooting took place at approximately 8:30 a.m.ET when representatives from the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office tried to find the man – identified as Andrew Brown Jr. – File a search warrant at his home in Elizabeth City, about 270 miles northeast of Raleigh. According to Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten, Brown was fatally injured during the encounter.
“It has been a tragic day,” Wooten said at a short press conference on Wednesday.
The sheriff told reporters he was unsure of Brown’s age, but court records show he was 42.
The unnamed deputy who fired the fatal shot has been placed on administrative leave pending a review by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, said Wooten, who pledged to be “transparent and take appropriate action based on the findings “.
“I have assembled a team of local law enforcement officers to come to Pasquotank County to ensure the safety and protection of the civilians in our community,” the sheriff said.
The deputy was wearing an active body camera, but Wooten said he will not be releasing the footage at this time.
“We are currently working as hard as possible on that,” he told reporters. “We will be absolutely transparent about this situation.”
The sheriff declined to say what the search warrant was for or how many shots had been fired.
Masha Rogers, the special agent in charge of North Carolina’s North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation’s Northeast District, said investigators will conduct a thorough investigation before handing over their findings to Andrew Womble, the prosecutor for the first prosecution of the North Carolina the state.
“He will make a decision about possible criminal charges,” Rogers told reporters.
Womble said his office will be looking for “accurate answers, not quick answers.”
“This will not be a rash judgment,” Womble told reporters. “We are waiting for that investigation, as we are obliged to.”
Further details about the shooting were not readily available.
Brown’s death is the latest in a series of officer-implicated shootings of black men, women and children in recent years, which have sparked protests across the country and even abroad.
Dozens of people, some with signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and “Stop Killing Unarmed Black Men,” gathered on Wednesday at the site of the Elizabeth City shooting and outside City Hall where the City Council held an emergency meeting. The crowds grew as the sun went down, with hundreds of people blocking traffic on an Elizabeth City main road and another group congregating outside Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office.
Brown’s aunt, Martha McCullen, who said she raised him after his parents died, told The Associated Press that her cousin was “ a good person, ” “ a good father, ” and “ about to get his kids back. ‘.
“The police didn’t have to shoot my baby,” McCullen told AP. “Now his children will never see him again.”