No charges to be filed against Roxboro officer who shot, killed man who police said was holding shotgun

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Wednesday, September 9, 2020
No charges to be filed against Roxboro officer in fatal shooting
The Person County district attorney announced Wednesday that no charges will be filed against the Roxboro police officer who shot and killed David Brooks, Jr., who was holding what appeared to be a gun near a Dollar General.

ROXBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- Person County District Attorney Mike Waters announced Wednesday that no charges will be filed against the Roxboro police officer who shot and killed David Brooks, Jr., who police said was holding a sawed-off shotgun near a Dollar General back in July.

"I'm very disappointed but I kind of figured that's what it would be," said Avie Lester, with the Person County NAACP. "But I'm still disappointed."

Brooks' father, David Brooks Sr., left after about four hours behind closed doors with the district attorney and did not comment about the meeting.

"Our prayers continue to go out to the Brooks family and our community from this tragedy," the Roxboro Police Department said in a statement. " We are committed to working with the NAACP and community leaders as we begin our internal administrative investigation. An exact time line for the conclusion of the internal investigation is not known. The involved officer will remain on administrative leave during internal investigation. We ask the community to continue being patient, peaceful and prayerful as we begin this process."

On July 30, Roxboro Police Department released dash camera video from an officer-involved shooting a week earlier that left the 45-year-old Brooks dead.

"We looked at all of the evidence the SBI was able to provide in its investigation, and concluded in this case the officer was reasonably could have feared for his life and he was justified in using deadly force," Waters said.


Given the wide-angle, the video is hard to see but it shows David Brooks Jr. holding what appears to be a gun before being shot.

An officer is heard saying, "Hey bro, drop your gun." Brooks makes a movement and two officers yell "drop your gun" and then a shot is fired.

In his report, Waters said the video, enhanced by the North Carolina State Crime Lab, shows Brooks raising his gun and pointing it at the officer moments before the fatal shooting.

The entire incident from the time the officer says "hey bro" to when the shot is fired lasts about five seconds.

"The response time that it took him to shoot his gun was incredible," said Brooks' brother, Jerriminco Brooks. "That in itself tells me he put no thought into it."

The officers then run over to Brooks and one is heard saying, "Hey man, you good?"

Before rendering aid to Brooks, officers removed a loaded, double-barrel shotgun with a fashioned sling from him, the DA's report said. A police officer unloaded it and took photos before turning it over to the SBI.

There is no body-camera video, as the department does not deploy body-worn cameras to officers.

"What does appear to happen is he places his left hand and right hand on the gun," Waters said. "I think most telling is that as his body posture changed, and we can see essentially even if the sling was there, it did not appear that he was trying to put the gun down."

The first officer on the scene had previous encounters with Brooks, Waters' report said. The first was several years ago during an arrest on a misdemeanor traffic violation and the officer said Brooks was polite and the encounter "uneventful."

The second incident seemed more serious as the officer responded to a report that a man was pointing a gun at a nearby apartment complex. The officer said Brooks appeared to be having a "mental health crisis" and Brooks was taken to a hospital for treatment. He was not charged.

The deadly shooting happened near a Dollar General on July 24.

Police responded to the area after someone called 911 reporting that he was walking down the street holding a gun.

Police Chief David Hess said previously that a loaded, sawed-off shotgun was found at the scene. It is illegal to carry a sawed-off shotgun in the state of North Carolina.

Based on the investigation and applicable laws, Waters concluded that the officer "reasonably believed that his life was endangered when he shot David Brooks Jr., and therefore the deadly use of force was lawful."

Brooks Sr. told ABC11 after the shooting that his son's death will not be in vain.

"I talked to the management of Dollar General. They said they have no problem with him. He's been in there before with a gun. He's always been respectful," Brooks Sr. said.

He said his son had a sling-like connection on the sawed-off shotgun over his shoulder, and believes Brooks Jr. tried to obey the officer's order before the fatal shooting.

SEE ALSO: Single shot from Roxboro police killed man who had shotgun, DA says

Brooks' death sparked marches and vigils calling for justice and rejecting the notion that Brooks' death was a justified shooting by Roxboro Police Department.

WATCH: Dozens march for justice after man killed in Roxboro officer-involved shooting

For the second night in a row, a peaceful vigil turned into a march through downtown Roxboro in memory of David Brooks.