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Neighbor says Andrew Brown was fleeing in car when shots were fired, killing him

Josh Shaffer, The News & Observer on

Published in News & Features

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — A neighbor and lifelong friend of Andrew Brown Jr. said he fled from Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies in his car before more than a dozen shots were fired at the vehicle, killing him.

Demetria Williams, who lives a few houses down from the slain man, said Thursday that she heard shots Wednesday morning and came running. When she reached Brown’s house, she saw deputies remove his dead body from the driver’s seat of the vehicle and attempt CPR.

She counted 14 shell casings on the ground, she said, and noted the rear windshield of the vehicle had been shot out.

“I got down there and they were shooting at the car,” Williams said. “He didn’t get far because the sheriff deputies were in the driveway. He was getting away. He wasn’t a threat.”

Williams had joined roughly 200 others in protest in Elizabeth City on Wednesday night, marching through the small college town.

Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten said Wednesday that deputies were carrying out a search warrant when the shooting happened. He said a deputy, who has not been identified, has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of a State Bureau of Investigation review.


Demonstrators talk with Elizabeth City Police Chief Eddie Buffaloe, Jr. outside the Pasquotank County Public Safety Building in downtown Elizabeth City, NC Wednesday, April 21, 2022. A Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr., who is Black, on April 21, 2021 in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Officials say they were executing a search warrant about 8:30 a.m. on Perry Street. The shooting is under review by the State Bureau of Investigation. TRAVIS LONG TLONG@NEWSOBSERVER.COM

Officials provided few details about the shooting, which happened about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in Elizabeth City. They did not say what the warrant was for, nor how many shots were fired at Brown.

On Wednesday night, the City Council in Elizabeth City held an emergency meeting that became emotional as council members voiced their concerns and fears.

“There are a lot of people hurting in our city,” Councilman Gabriel Adkins said at the meeting. “We have a lot of hurt people.”


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