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US Jason Walker: The fatal shooting by an off-duty sheriff's deputy in Fayetteville North Carolina is under state investigation

13:28  11 january  2022
13:28  11 january  2022 Source:   cnn.com

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State authorities ​in North Carolina are investigating the killing of​ a man Saturday by an off-duty sheriff's deputy, who told authorities the person had jumped on his vehicle.

Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins (left) and Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West take questions about the shooting death of Jason Walker by an off-duty deputy with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office. © Andrew Craft/USA Today Network Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins (left) and Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West take questions about the shooting death of Jason Walker by an off-duty deputy with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

The man killed was identified by the Fayetteville Police Department as Jason Walker, a 37-year-old Black man.

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office identified the deputy as Jeffrey Hash. CNN has attempted to reach out to Hash but has not received a response.

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According to a statement Saturday by Fayetteville police, a preliminary investigation showed Walker "ran into traffic and jumped on [the] moving vehicle" that the sheriff's deputy was driving. "The driver of the vehicle shot [Walker] and notified 911," police said.

In a press conference on Sunday, Fayetteville Police Chief Gina V. Hawkins said that an analysis of the vehicle's so-called "black box" showed that "that vehicle did not impact anything or anyone," and a windshield wiper had been torn off and used to break the windshield in several places.

On Saturday evening, a person who said they were "first on scene" posted video that began in the moments after Walker had been shot and just before authorities arrived.

The video shows a man standing near the driver's side of a red pickup truck while making a call on a cell phone. A person appears to be lifeless and bleeding on the ground beside him, and at least two people appear to be trying to offer aid to the person on the ground.

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Uniformed police officers arrive approximately 45 seconds after the video starts. ​There is crosstalk and much of the audio is difficult to understand, but one of the first arriving officers asks a small group of people at the ​scene, "who saw it?"

One man​ responds, " I didn't see it​; we heard it​."​ Another man responds, "I didn't see sh*t."

Another officer speaks to the man who appears to ​have been driving the truck. He tells the officer, "I was coming down here, he ran across the street, so I stopped, he jumped on my car and started ​screaming... (​unintelligible) ​beating the glass. I have my daughter and my child in here."

When asked about the video at ​the press conference Sunday, Hawkins said that she had seen the video.

"It's important to share some of the confirmed facts of this case with the public to ensure transparency as this investigation proceeds," the chief said.

The chief said that the weapon used by the off-duty sheriff​'s deputy was not his service weapon, and declined to say how many shots he fired, or where the shots hit Walker.

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Officer placed on administrative leave

Hawkins said she asked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation on Saturday night to "take the lead in the investigation."

A spokesperson for the state agency confirmed that it was investigating.

"Anyone who witnessed the incident, knows of anyone who witnessed the incident or has video of the incident before, during or after," should contact the agency, the spokesperson said.

The local district attorney​, Billy West, ​said he has asked ​the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys -- an independent prosecutorial agency -- to be assigned in order to avoid any conflict of interest.

On Monday, the Cumberland County Sheriff​'s Office confirmed that Hash, ​who has been with the department since 2005 and is currently lieutenant for the department, was "placed on administrative leave, pending an internal investigation."

"Our sincere condolences go out to Jason Walker's family," the department release said.

No charges have been filed in the case and the investigation remains ongoing, a spokesperson for the state investigation agency told CNN.

Protests and marches have taken place in Fayetteville this weekend, according to CNN affiliate WRAL. Protesters were "united" in asking who was being held responsible for Walker's death, WRAL reported.

Walker was a single father, leaving behind one young son, WRAL reported.

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usr: 1
This is interesting!