ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — (WGHP/WAVY) New video shows Pasquotank County deputies arriving outside Andrew Brown Jr.’s home to serve a search warrant last week.
The video was obtained through a FOIA request by FOX8 sister stationWAVY. It is not the deputy body camera video. Officials have yet to release that to the public.
In the city-owned video, Elizabeth City Police Chief Eddie Buffalo provided to WAVY News 10, you can see deputies arriving in the back of a pickup truck on Wednesday, April 21. The city camera is mounted on a utility pole along Brown’s street.
The truck turns toward Brown’s driveway. You can hear deputies yell, “Get your hands up.”
The video begins to glitch at this point and audio drops out for about 20 seconds. This is reportedly when the gunfire is taking place. Buffalo told WAVY News the loud sounds caused the camera to glitch.
What you can’t see is what Brown’s attorneys described after they watched the body camera footage. They said the deputies jumped out and surrounded Brown’s car. At some point, they started shooting. Brown was in his car with his hands on the steering wheel, according to the family. Brown was shot four times in the right arm and then once in the back of the head, a private autopsy released by the family shows.
Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten released this statement Tuesday afternoon:
“I want answers about what happened as much as the public does. The private autopsy released by the family is important and I continue to pray for them during this difficult time. However, a private autopsy is just one piece of the puzzle. The independent investigation being performed by the SBI is crucial and the interviews, forensics, and other evidence they gather will help ensure that justice is accomplished.”
Attorneys for Brown’s family said an independent autopsy shows that he was shot five times, including a shot in the back of the head, as officials worked to release bodycam footage of the shooting.
Brown, a 42-year-old Black man from Elizabeth City, was shot to death by one or more deputy sheriffs trying to serve drug-related search and arrest warrants. An eyewitness said Brown tried to drive away but was shot dead in his car. The shooting has prompted protests and demands for accountability in the eastern North Carolina city of about 18,000. Elizabeth City set a curfew starting at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Attorney Wayne Kendall said Tuesday that an independent pathologist hired by Andrew Brown Jr.’s family examined his body. Two shots to Brown’s right arm penetrated the skin and two other shots to the arm grazed him, Kendall said. The pathologist could not determine the distance from which they were fired.
Brown was shot in the back of the head in what lawyers called a “kill shot.” The pathologist who performed the autopsy did not speak at the news conference and did not appear to be there.
The state’s autopsy has not been released yet. The family’s lawyers also released a copy of the death certificate, which lists the cause of death as a “penetrating gunshot wound of the head.” It describes the death as a homicide. NewsNation is working to obtain a copy of the death certificate.
The pathologist, North Carolina-based Dr. Brent Hall, noted a wound to the back of Brown’s head from an undetermined distance that penetrated his skull and brain. He said there was no exit wound.
The FBI announced Tuesday that’s launching a federal civil rights investigation into the case.
“Agents will work closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice to determine whether federal laws were violated,” said FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment further.”
The release of the autopsy comes one day after Brown’s family and attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter viewed 20 seconds of body camera video of the fatal shooting which appeared to show Brown with his hands on the car steering wheel before being shot by deputies.