After weeks of protests over the April 21 police shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City, District Attorney Andrew Womble announced Tuesday that the shooting was justified.
During a Tuesday news conference, Womble showed body cam video from the three Pasquotank County Sheriff’s deputies who shot Brown as a tactical team attempted to arrest him that morning.
Brown was killed outside his home on Perry Street while deputies were serving arrest warrants for drug charges in Dare County and a search warrant from Pasquotank County.
Womble said Brown, surrounded by deputies from both Pasquotank and Dare counties, drove directly toward officers as officers shouted commands for him to stop.
The task force originally planned to arrest Brown the night of April 20, but he could not be located. The next morning at around 8 a.m., Brown was spotted in Elizabeth City and followed back to his home on Perry Street, Womble said.
At 8:20 a.m., Brown was still sitting in his car as law-enforcement in a marked truck approached. Deputies surrounded Brown’s car and one tried to open the driver’s side door.
Brown, who was holding his phone at the time, threw it down and began to “rapidly back his car away from the officers,” Womble said.
One deputy was struck as he “took evasive action to get out of the way of Brown’s vehicle,” Womble said.
Brown continued to ignore officers commands and backed his vehicle up to his home, then drove directly toward law enforcement officers, Womble said. One deputy used his left had to push off the hood of Brown’s car to avoid being struck, and that’s when the first shots were fired, Womble said.
Brown suffered two gunshot wounds, one non-lethal wound to the right shoulder and one to the back of the head near the base of his skull.
“Mr. Brown’s death, while tragic, was justified,” Womble said.
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