Family outraged over teen's death, CMPD says it had no choice

Family of teen have questions about police shooting
Davion Drayton
Davion Drayton

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - WBTV has learned new information about the criminal history of a teen Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say they were forced to shoot in a gang-related undercover drug operation at an elementary school.

Jaquaz Walker, 17, was wearing an electronic monitoring anklet at the time of his death, according to Chief Rodney Monroe.

WBTV checked his criminal record and learned Walker faced felony breaking and entering charges and that's why he was on an electronic monitor.

Chief Monroe also told WBTV the shooting involved a marijuana drug deal between an undercover officer, informant and two teenage suspects.

Police tell say Walker shot the informant in the shoulder after attempting to rob him, and that's why police opened fire.

Walker died at Carolinas Medical Center Tuesday night.

Walker's family held a vigil in his memory Thursday night. His aunt lashed at CMPD for the way her nephew died.

"He was a normal kid," she insisted. "But he got gunned down."

But police say they had no other choice. Chief Rodney Monroe told me -- Walker opened fire first and that's why police shot back. Police also say they recovered the teen's gun at the scene.

Close friend Melik Gaines, admitted his friend's mistakes.

"He was smart," he said. "He ain't never hurt nobody. But he made a wrong decision. It cost him his life."

His aunt also lashed out at the media's portrayal of Jaquaz.

"It's ridiculous how they're portraying him," she said. "Get the facts before you put stuff on the news."

But Walker's posts on Facebook tell their own story. There are pictures of him holding guns and disturbing posts like "See I'm a shooter but I'm my brother's shooter, too" and another one that says "Hidden Valley shooter."

His Twitter page is just as revealing. One of his tweets reads "tell them boys its bullets with their names on it."

But Gaines believes that was just a persona -- and not the friend he knew.

"He wouldn't hurt nobody," he repeated.

Walker's mother, Faith Walker, told WBTV's Steve Crump on Wednesday morning that her son wasn't armed when he was shot by police.

"Yesterday at the hospital was just awful," Faith said. "I wasn't allowed to see my son one time."

But Chief Monroe says that claim is untrue as well. He told WBTV, he broke department protocol to allow Walker's parents to see him in the hospital as he lay dying.

Police have identified the second teenager involved in the undercover sting as 17-year-old Davion Drayton.

Officers say Drayton was arrested Wednesday at an associate's home in the Hidden Valley neighborhood on a warrant for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

Police later searched the home and took a bullet, gun, t-shirt, pants, envelope and some photographs, according to the search warrant.

Both teens were enrolled in a CMS alternate school, according to school administrators.

"You know you have 15, 16 year old kids out here wielding firearms, that's a very dangerous situation," said Chief Monroe.

But Walker's mother wasn't so sure.

"I don't think that was the case," she told WBTV on Wednesday. "Either way, he shot my son three times, once in the head."

The school was placed on lockdown as a precaution. There was staff at the school, but no students as summer vacation started last week.

Chief Monroe defended their decision to conduct the undercover operation at an elementary school, saying at no time were staff inside ever in danger.

"Anytime you conduct an undercover operation, what's a good location," he said. "Whether it's a shopping mall or neighborhood, there's no real perfect location."

Monroe also confirmed the shooting is gang-related and part of larger undercover operation ongoing for several months. But he declined to give more details, saying it may compromise their investigation.

The shooting comes at a time when neighbors say the area was showing signs of improvement after years of battling drugs and gang violence.

"It's been quiet in this neighborhood, ain't nothing happened over here, everything been good, it's always somebody come in the neighborhood and do this, it ain't nobody in our neighborhood," said neighborhood resident Johnnie Crank.

No officers were hurt in the shooting.

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