Who was Andrew Brown Jr? Black dad, 42, shot dead by NC deputy 'wasn't violent' and 'didn’t mess with guns'
DA promises 'accurate answers and not fast answers' surrounding the death of the father of 10 who was killed by a deputy serving a search warrant
ELIZABETH CITY, NORTH CAROLINA: Leaders and demonstrators in a mourning North Carolina neighborhood want to know what happened on Wednesday morning, April 21, when a deputy serving a search warrant shot and killed a Black man. State detectives are investigating why a Pasquotank County Sheriff's deputy fatally shot Andrew Brown Jr at 8.30 am on April 21 in Elizabeth City.
Andrew Womble, District Attorney, has promised "accurate answers and not fast answers", USA Today reported. Brown's death comes just one day after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder in the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man. This incident is also one day after police in Columbus, Ohio, shot dead 16-year-old Black girl Ma'Khia Bryant.
Who was Andrew Brown Jr?
Brown was 42 years old, according to court records, and had a history of drug violations and a minor drug possession conviction, stated The Associated Press. He was the father of 10 children, according to WAVY. “He wasn’t a violent person,” Daniel Bowser, who said he and Brown were friends for almost 30 years, told The News & Observer. “He didn’t mess with guns, he didn’t tote no guns," he said, adding: "I don’t care what they put out there, he didn’t deserve to die.”
Brown's grandmother Lydia Brown, 92, and aunt Clarissa Brown Gibson told The Associated Press that they heard of his death on the television. “I am upset. Andrew was a good person,” said the nonagenarian. “(The deputy) didn’t have to shoot him like that.” His aunt said, "We want to know if he was served with a warrant, why the shooting over a warrant?”
Brown "had a beautiful smile, infectious laugh," first cousin Jadine Hampton told Heavy in an interview. He was "a great storyteller like a comedian. A wonderful father, who pushed his kids to be honor roll students even though he never finished school.” She said that she last saw Brown in October, during birthday celebrations for a family member. “We exchanged numbers with hopes of him visiting me in Atlanta once the pandemic lifted." That was never to happen.
"He was 10 years younger, and we didn’t grow up together very close but always saw each other at my grandparents’ house on Christmas every year as kids," said Hampton. "He loved his family and would do anything to help. A huge heart. Never known to be violent or carry a gun that I’m aware. He will be missed and my family is heartbroken over this," she added.
BREAKING: Pasquotank Co Sheriff confirms Andrew Brown Jr was the man fatally shot this morning by a deputy. He says his Dept will be transparent and proper actions will be taken based on independent investigation. @13newsnow pic.twitter.com/yyK3JkWIRA— Dan Kennedy 13News Now (@13DanKennedy) April 21, 2021
What happened to Andrew Brown Jr?
Although few details have been released, it is known that the shooting occurred at 8.30 am while deputies were serving a search warrant in the 400 block of Perry Street, off Roanoke Avenue, according to the Pasquotank County Sheriff's Office.
According to the Associated Press, an eyewitness said that Brown was shot several times by deputies while attempting to flee. Demetria Williams, who lives on the same street as Brown, said Brown's car skidded out of his yard and crashed into a tree. “When they opened the door he was already dead,” Williams told the newspaper. “He was slumped over,” she said, adding that officers then tried to perform chest compressions on him. She said Brown, known by neighbors as “Drew”, wasn’t a violent person.
Sheriff Tommy Wooten II said at a press conference that the Pasquotank County Sheriff's deputy, who has not yet been named, had been placed on leave pending an investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation. "The people of Elizabeth City... they desire a right to know what took place this morning," USA Today quoted Councilman Darius J Horton as saying at an emergency meeting of the Elizabeth City council on Wednesday evening, April 21. Outside, a crowd gathered, some holding 'Black Lives Matter' signs. Although the investigation is appropriate, it is adding "insult to injury", said Horton, who also believes that body cam video from the shooting should be released immediately.