Update: Wilmington, NC Shooting
The sheriff’s deputy who fired the shots that killed an unarmed 18-year-old, Peyton Strickland, while attempting to serve an arrest warrant, has been charged with 2nd degree murder in his death.
From the AP, via MSNBC.com:
Cpl. Christopher Long, 34, was indicted in the death of 18-year-old college student Peyton Strickland, who was shot Dec. 1 when deputies and police from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington raided a house he shared with roommates.
Officers knocked on the front door and watched through a window as Strickland walked away from the door. Long fired his gun after an officer used a battering ram to knock on the door, which Long misidentified as gun shots from inside the house, District Attorney Ben David said during Long’s first court appearance Monday. [emphasis mine]
“When the ram hit the door, he thought it was gunfire,” David said. “His belief that there was gunfire coming from the inside out was not shared by others.”
An autopsy report said the fatal bullet hit Strickland in the head after hitting another object. Strickland also was shot near his right shoulder.
Officers also shot Strickland’s German shepherd, who bled to death outside the house.
“This indictment is an important first step in holding accountable everyone responsible for Peyton’s death — but this is only a first step,” his parents, Don and Kathy Strickland, said in a written statement. “None of these actions can bring Peyton back to us, but perhaps they can save someone else’s child.”
Now, as I wrote in my post, From the WTF?! Files, this was a quasi-SWAT team. This deputy didn’t know what a battering ram sounds like when it blasts in a door??
I feel for Cpl. Long and his family. From all indications, he is a genuinely nice guy, who killed an unarmed teenager, and will have to live with that for the rest of his life.
But he’ll have a lifetime, which is more than he gave Peyton Strickland.