Raleigh officer-involved shooting spurs state investigation

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Police in Raleigh say state authorities are investigating after an officer shot and killed a man there Monday.

The city’s police chief told reporters the man was a suspect wanted on a felony drug charge.

Rolanda Byrd told WRAL and WNCN the man was her 24-year-old son, Akiel Denkins, and that police had no reason to shoot him.

“They killed my son for no reason,” Byrd told WRAL. “Everybody out here said he was running, didn’t have a gun, (was) trying to jump a fence, and that officer shot my son seven times. For what? For nothing.”

Police haven’t released the identities of the man who was shot or the officer involved, or provided an explanation for why the officer opened fire. State authorities are conducting a criminal investigation into the shooting, and the department’s internal affairs unit is also investigating, Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said.

The officer was pursuing the man on foot Monday afternoon and trying to detain him, the police chief said.

“During the course of the pursuit, the suspect was shot and killed by the officer,” she said. “Initially, it is known that a firearm was located in close proximity to the deceased suspect. That weapon, along with other elements available at the scene, will be processed.”

Video showed a crowd gathering at the scene of the shooting for a vigil Monday night.

Casanova Womack, who lives in the neighborhood, told WRAL that tensions were high in the neighborhood.

“People are just frustrated, angry, upset and disappointed,” he said.

Denkins was well known in the community, WRAL reported.

“He could have been my son. I treated him like my son. I’ve fed him at my church before,” the Rev. Chris Jones, the pastor at a church several blocks from the shooting scene, told WRAL. “Now, he’s lying back there, dead.”