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Family considers wrongful death suit against Fayetteville police

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

A man shot by a Fayetteville Police officer in May died on Tuesday, the attorney for the man's family said.

Attorney Allen Rogers said Lawrence Edward Graham III, 20, of Fayetteville died just a few days after being released from the hospital. Rogers said Graham was paralyzed from the waist down because of the shooting. Graham had been in rehab until he was released from the hospital on Friday, Rogers explained.

Graham's family believes he may have died of a blood clot related to his injuries. They are now considering a wrongful death lawsuit against Fayetteville Police. Rogers has asked for video from the patrol car's dash camera, but he said it has not been provided although police have offered dash camera video in other cases.

"Lawrence has expired, and he's not here to see his name get cleared," said Graham's paternal grandmother Rhonda Graham. "It didn't take this long to show a video."

Graham was shot on May 1 on Sourwood Drive off of Country Club drive in Fayetteville. Fayetteville Police say Graham was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped for a traffic violation. Officer Denton Little reported that Graham ran in front of the car with a gun.

In a statement released on May 1, Fayetteville Police said, "Officer Little pursued the passenger on foot, and the passenger displayed a handgun as he turned towards the officer." Little fired three shots – two of them hit Graham in the back, Police Chief Harold Medlock said. Graham fell to the ground several feet in front of the car.

"That individual, [Little] believed, was pointing or beginning to point the gun at him," Medlock said.

Rogers said Graham admitted to having a gun, but he said Graham had thrown it to the ground when Little fired.

"It's our contention that Lawrence exited the vehicle, did throw a weapon, but he ran away from the officer," Rogers said.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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