ROXBORO, N.C. (AP) — Two police officers in a north-central North Carolina town are on paid leave as the State Bureau of Investigation reviews the shooting death of an African American man that occurred following a 911 call, authorities said.
David Brooks Jr., 45, of Roxboro, died following the officer-involved shooting on Friday morning, Roxboro Police Chief David Hess said at a news conference.
Hess said officers responded to a call about a man wearing a mask and carrying what appeared to be a shotgun walking down U.S. Highway 158 near a discount retail store, news outlets reported. Shots were fired about 6 minutes later, he said.
Investigators found a loaded sawed-off shotgun at the scene, according to Hess. Such guns are illegal in North Carolina, the chief said. Hess declined to name the officers on leave but said they were veterans of the force.
Roxboro officers don’t have body cameras, Hess said, but investigators are reviewing dashboard camera video in patrol cars for possible footage of what happened involving Brooks. Hess referred further questions on Saturday to the State Bureau of Investigation, where a spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to an email.
Dozens of people, including family members of Brooks, demanded justice during a vigil and march Friday night in downtown Roxboro, located 55 miles (89 kilometers) northwest of Raleigh. They also want to see video of the shooting. Brooks’ cousin, John Tucker III, said Brooks was known to carry a gun but that he wouldn’t use it in a violent way.
“He walked the road every day. He don’t bother anybody. He don’t start no trouble or nothing,” Tucker said.
On Friday, Hess thanked the local NAACP chapter, a ministers’ group and others for their understanding.
“This community is all about peace, love and calm. We would plead that that still be the case,” he said. “Do not prejudge things you have heard on social media and then turn that into unlawful activity. Roxboro is better than that.”