Investigators look for gun information in Raleigh police shooting

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Akiel Denkins (WTVD)

A search warrant made public Thursday shows investigators asked a judge for permission to examine a phone found near the body of Akiel Denkins after he was shot by a Raleigh police officer February 29.

According to a preliminary report from investigators, Officer D.C. Twiddy spotted the 24-year-old on Bragg Street near Mangum Street and recognized that he was wanted on an outstanding drug warrant.

The report says Twiddy chased Denkins on foot before they got into a struggle and Denkins pulled a handgun from the front of his waistband. Twiddy then opened fire, hitting Denkins multiple times.

A preliminary autopsy report shows Denkins was shot in the chest, both arms, and shoulder. The wound to the chest was fatal. But, the report did not specify whether the shots came from the front or back. Denkins' family said at a news conference March 12 that an independent autopsy concluded a bullet that hit him near the shoulder area came from the back.

The search warrant filed by the SBI says investigators wanted to search the phone for anything "regarding any connection Denkins may have had with the black Smith and Wesson revolver found at the crime scene."

The warrant doesn't say what - if anything - investigators found on the phone.

Twiddy remains on leave while the investigation of the shooting continues - which is standard practice in police-involved shootings in North Carolina.

Wake County's District Attorney, Lorrin Freeman, said she has received the complete report from the SBI, but she has asked them to follow up on a couple of things. Freeman said she probably will not have to wait several more weeks for a final autopsy.

"We were able to meet yesterday with the Medical Examiner's office," Freeman said. "Some of the folks from my office went over and met with them. That was an important meeting obviously. And then we are still waiting on some forensics. We know that this is a matter that's important to the public. We're hoping probably by next week or the week after to be in a position to hand down a decision."

Freeman explained although the SBI report is not public record, if she decides not to prosecute Twiddy, she will release information from the report to explain her decision.

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