Off-Duty North Carolina Deputy Under Scrutiny For Shooting Death Of Black Man

·3 min read

The actions of an off-duty police officer are under scrutiny following the Saturday shooting death of a Black father, 37-year-old Jason Walker, in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Several key details of the incident remain murky days after the fact, and community protesters are demanding answers.

Cumberland County Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Jeffrey Hash told Fayetteville police that Walker ran into the road and jumped on top of his truck in broad daylight, at around 2:00 p.m. in a suburban area.

Hash then shot Walker and called 911, but Walker died at the scene. It is unclear how many shots Hash fired. He was not using his service weapon.

Yet Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins said at a news conference Sunday that the “black box” in Hash’s truck ― an on-board computer ― showed that the vehicle “did not impact anything or anyone.” A bystander also alleged that Walker was not struck by the vehicle, according to Hawkins.

Authorities released around four minutes of Hash’s 911 call earlier this week.

“I just had a male jump on my vehicle and break my windshield. I just shot him,” Hash told the emergency operator.

“I was driving down the road, and he came flying across Bingham Drive, running,” Hash said. “And then I stopped, so I wouldn’t hit him, and he jumped on my car and started screaming, pulled my windshield wipers off and started beating my windshield and broke my windshield. I have my wife and my daughter in my vehicle.”

Hawkins said Sunday that a windshield wiper had been ripped off and used to damage the windshield.

Asked by the 911 operator whether Walker was still breathing, Hash responded: “He’s gone. No, ma’am, he is not. He is gone.”

Elizabeth Ricks, a trauma nurse who happened to be nearby, was trying to save Walker’s life. Hash can be heard asking, “Did you find the holes, ma’am?” and then stating, “I can see blood on the side.”

Later in the recording, an anguished voice can be heard demanding to know where Hash shot Walker. Hash engages with this unknown person to tell them he did not know where he shot Walker before turning back to the 911 operator, saying people around him were becoming “hostile.”

By the time the recording ends, emergency sirens can be heard in the background.

Video of the incident obtained by local news station WRAL shows a bystander telling a police officer he heard “four gunshots and came outside.”

Demonstrators cry during a
Demonstrators cry during a

Ricks told local news station ABC11 that she tried to calm Walker.

“Even though he may not have heard me, I said, ‘It’s going to be OK, baby,’” Ricks said.

Walker’s family also told ABC11 that they doubted Hash’s version of events, which suggested Walker violently attacked his truck, saying that did not fit with Walker’s personality.

This week, a group of two dozen people marched through Fayetteville with signs protesting Walker’s death and calling for Hash to be arrested, The Fayetteville Observer reported.

Hawkins emphasized Sunday that investigators were still working to establish the facts of the case.

Hash has worked for the department since 2005. On Monday, Cumberland County Sheriff Ennis Wright announced that he has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of an internal investigation.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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