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District attorney: Deputies justified in fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr.

Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 11:37 AM EDT
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ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WBTV/WITN) - Pasquotank County’s district attorney said Tuesday the results of the SBI investigation into the fatal Andrew Brown Jr was justified.

Brown was shot and killed on April 21 by deputy sheriffs as they were serving a search warrant on his Perry Street home in Elizabeth City. District Attorney Andrew Womble held a news conference at 11 a.m. to discuss the results of the SBI’s investigation.

Womble said the three deputies involved will not be charged in the shooting.

**WARNING: VIDEO BELOW CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT. VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED.

District attorney discusses results of SBI investigation in shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr.

BREAKING: A North Carolina district attorney says deputies’ fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. was justified https://bit.ly/3eYpZWi Chandler Morgan WBTV has more. ***WARNING: Graphic content. Viewer discretion advised***

Posted by WBTV News on Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The news conference comes a week after the Brown family and their attorney watched police video of the deadly shooting.

Attorney Chance Lynch said Brown was “ambushed,” and at no point did they see him pose a threat to any law enforcement officer, contradicting what Womble told a judge during a court hearing three weeks ago.

Womble said during Tuesday’s news conference, however, that Brown’s “actions caused three deputies to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others.”

The district attorney said deputies clearly identified themselves to Brown, who refused orders to stop and drove his car directly at one of the officers.

Womble played the video from multiple police body cameras during the news conference.

He said the first shot fired at Brown’s car went through the front windshield, not the back as was previously reported.

Womble said the deputies involved had no prior excessive force complaints against them.

A judge ruled three weeks ago that the family and one attorney could view the video, and said he would later rule about whether it would be released.

N.C. Governor Roy Cooper released a statement after the district attorney’s announcement Tuesday, saying public confidence “would have been better served with a special prosecutor and by quickly making” the video public.

The Brown shooting has led to weeks of peaceful protests in Elizabeth City that prompted a curfew which has since been lifted.

The FBI is also investigating the Brown shooting and whether his civil rights were violated at the time.

Copyright 2021 WBTV. WITN contributed to this report. All rights reserved.