Prosecutors said Tuesday that North Carolina sheriff’s deputies were justified in fatally shooting 42-year-old Andrew Brown Jr., a black man, during an attempted arrest last month, and added that no charges will be filed against law enforcement. Brown Jr. was shot while behind the wheel of his car on April 21 in Elizabeth City as Pasquotank County sheriff’s deputies were serving a warrant for his arrest on felony drug charges.
District Attorney Andrew Womble said Brown’s shooting death was “justified due to his actions,” adding that “no officers will be criminally charged. The officers’ actions were consistent with their training and fully supported under law.” An autopsy commissioned by Brown’s family found he was shot five times, once in the back of the head. That report added to the findings of a state death certificate that showed that he was shot five times and that Brown’s immediate cause of death was a “penetrating gunshot wound of the head.” The district attorney has said officers fired only after Brown struck deputies twice with his vehicle. But Brown’s relatives have questioned why deputies used deadly force when he was surrounded by law enforcement, and have also expressed frustration that body-worn camera footage of the incident has not been released to the public.