SARATOGA, N.C. (WNCN) — A 22-year-old man was fatally shot during an altercation with a sheriff’s deputy in Wilson County Sunday afternoon. His death has left a lot of questions.
The sheriff’s office said the shooting occurred during a mental health crisis involving the victim which got out of hand. At approximately 12:57 pm. in the small town of Saratoga, deputies were called to a disturbance in a home at 6735 Main Street.
According to a statement from Wanda Samuel, chief of staff at the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to respond to a “domestic in progress” call.
Lamoris Dejuan Speight, Jr., 22, was found at that location “in a mental crisis,” Samuel said.
A person who was at a gas station directly across the street recalls three patrol units rapidly pulling up one after the other that afternoon.
After attempting de-escalation tactics to defuse the situation, Speight grabbed one of the deputies and put that deputy into a chokehold. During the time of the chokehold, Samuel said Speight attempted to remove the deputy’s holstered firearm.
“At the point where the deputy was about to lose consciousness, a deputy on the scene discharged his firearm, striking Mr. Speight,” Samuel said.
The victim’s mother told CBS17 it all happened so fast she still hasn’t been able to comprehend what occurred.
EMS officials were called to the scene where Speight was pronounced dead.
An employee of the gas station who didn’t give his name said Speight used to come in all the time and was “a nice, quiet guy.”
It’s still unclear why the disturbance call was originally made to the sheriffs office or exactly what deescalation techniques were used.
The SBI is now the lead agency looking into the shooting, which is standard practice for officer-involved incidents. The deputies involved are currently on administrative leave.
Names of the deputies are not being released at this time due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.