A black man was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer on Saturday, January 8. The incident sparked protests outside a police station in North Carolina. The deceased was identified as 37-year-old Fayetteville resident Jason Walker. The off-duty cop who shot Walker claimed that he ran into the traffic and jumped onto the truck the cop was driving, after which, he shot him.
The witnesses who orchestrated the protest, however, refuted the cop's account. Witnesses claimed that the cop hit Walker with his truck and then shot him.
The Fayetteville Police Department said in a statement that the initial investigation of the incident showed that Walker 'ran into traffic and jumped on a moving vehicle.' An off-duty Cumberland County sheriff's deputy was driving the truck Walker jumped on. The deputy, who remains unidentified, then shot him and called 911 to report the incident.
Witness accounts clash with the police statement
A group of people protested outside the Fayetteville police station on Sunday, refuting the statement given by the police. According to US News, a witness, Elizabeth Ricks noted that Walker was crossing the road when he was hit by the truck driven by the off-duty cop.
According to Ricks, who is a trauma nurse, she saw the fateful insacident as the cop proceeded to shoot Walker after hitting him. She jumped in to help Walker and save his life, but he was declared dead at the scene. "I did not see anyone in distress. The man was just walking home," Ricks noted.
'I am trying to protect my daughter and wife'
A video of the aftermath of the shooting showed two women and another man attempting to save Walker's life, as he lay on the ground. The person who appeared to have fired the gun stood by the truck and was heard talking on the phone. "I am trying to protect my daughter and my wife. People are hostile right now," he said.
Hearing him say the words, another shirtless man from across the street yelled, 'no one is hostile.' Soon, two Fayetteville police officers arrived at the scene and asked the people standing around, 'who witnessed the incident?' The shirtless man noted he heard four gunshots but didn't see what happened.
The off-duty police officer, who fired the shots said that the victim jumped on his car, 'started screaming, pulled the windshield wipers and started beating the glass.' "I have my daughter, my child, in here [the car]," he said.
'We would like to hear from anyone who saw what happened'
Elizabeth Ricks, who applied pressure to Walker's wounds and tried to save his life, said that the cop who shot him made no efforts to help him in any way. Ricks claimed that she witnessed the entire incident and neither did Walker run into the traffic nor did he jump onto the officer's truck.
Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins said during a press conference on Sunday that no record or eyewitness account was found indicating the man was struck by the officer's truck. "We would like to hear from anyone who saw what happened," Hawkins noted.
Fayetteville police noted that the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case. Police refused to identify the involved deputy's name citing North Carolina public records law.