An off-duty sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a 37-year-old Black man in the street outside his home in Fayetteville, North Carolina, over the weekend, sparking protests in the community amid various rumors about what led to the deadly confrontation.
Jason Walker died outside of his Bingham Drive house around 2:15 p.m. on Jan. 8, according to the Fayetteville Observer, after an incident on the highway with a pickup-driving off-duty officer with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.
Walker “ran into traffic and jumped on a moving vehicle,” according to a statement from the Fayetteville Police Department, before Deputy Jeffrey Hash shot him. Hash contacted 911 after the shooting to report the occurrence.
Witnesses claim that when the victim was shot, the deputy did not attempt to save his life, instead, he started calling his superiors at the sheriff’s department.
Elizabeth Ricks exited her vehicle to apply pressure on Walker’s wounds in an attempt to save him. Instead of attempting to assist, the deputy called the sheriff’s office, according to Ricks.
Ricks spoke to a gathering at a Fayetteville event in favor of Walker the next day, telling them she saw Walker attempting to cross the street, probably to get to his home, before being hit by the pickup vehicle and being shot by the deputy.
“I did not observe anyone in distress,” the trauma nurse told the News & Observer newspaper of Walker. “He was just on his way home.”
“It aches my heart that he didn’t survive, and I’m trying to cope with that as well,” she said at a demonstration over Walker’s death on Sunday. “I’m not going to be silent because I don’t want to take anything away from Jason or the injustice.”
According to reports, two witnesses stated on social media that they saw the deputy hit Walker with his pickup truck as he crossed the street and then shoot him.
Nearly four hours after the shooting, video of the incident was released on social media, appearing to begin right after the incident.
A man in a red pickup vehicle is on the phone, as two women and another man try to help a man who is laying on the ground, according to the footage.
“I don’t know where the entry point is,” a lady can be heard saying. “He won’t tell me where he shot him.”
On the phone, Deputy Hash states, “I’m trying to protect my daughter and my wife.” “Right now, people are hostile.”
As the sirens get louder and louder, one of the witnesses runs over to him and says, “Nobody is hostile,” according to the footage. Don’t utter that (expletive). “There is no hostility.”
When two FPD officers arrived on the scene, they attempted to assist Walker after noting his feeble pulse. The authorities inquired if anyone witnessed the incident and took statements.
Hash’s shot was not fired through the windshield, and the wiper was torn off, according to a preliminary investigation. The metal piece of the wiper was used to crack the truck’s windshield in many places, according to the complaint.
Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins corrected speculations about the event at a press conference on Sunday.
She mentioned that the pickup truck had a “black box” that would have recorded if the vehicle collided with “any person or item.” She also claimed that there was only one eyewitness who told police that Walker had not been hit by the truck.
The North Carolina Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate Hash’s actions since the event. Despite being notified, the FBI was not called in to help with the investigation.
“We are aware of the shooting death investigation in Fayetteville and are in regular contact with local and state police,” FBI Public Affairs Specialist Shelley Lynch told ABC 11. If information of a potential federal violation emerges during the North Carolina SBI inquiry, the FBI is ready to investigate.”
Hash was placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, according to a statement posted by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 10.
Hash joined the county’s law enforcement arm in 2005 and is currently a lieutenant in the department’s civil division.
To prevent the appearance of a conflict of interest, Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West stated on Sunday that his office is withdrawing from the inquiry. The North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys will be in charge of the investigation.
The deputy who shot and killed Jason Walker in Fayetteville on Saturday has been identified by the Cumberland Sheriff’s Office.
“Our greatest condolences go out to Jason Walker’s family,” Lieutenant Patrice Bogertey, the sheriff’s office’s Public Information Officer, said on behalf of the sheriff’s office.
The family has stated to the media that they do not trust the news regarding their loved one’s demise.
Walker’s relative claimed, “I don’t believe he flung himself on top of a truck.” “I suppose he wished to live,” says the narrator. “All I want is justice for my cousin because something doesn’t match up.”
Walker leaves behind a son.