Pasquotank County Sheriff releases names of deputies who shot at Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City

Thursday, April 29, 2021
Family of Andrew Brown reacts to footage of deadly Elizabeth City shooting
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A North Carolina family and their attorneys are reacting with anger and frustration after viewing only a short bodycam video of the shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City.

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. -- Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten on Thursday released the names of the deputies who were placed on administrative leave after the shooting of Andrew Brown Jr.

Wooten said that a follow-up investigation determined that four of the deputies never fired their weapons "and deserve to be reinstated to active duty."

Three deputies did fire their weapons, he said. They will remain on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.

The deputies involved were:

  • Lt. Steve Judd (back on active duty)
  • Sgt. Michael Swindell (back on active duty)
  • Sgt. Kendall Bishop (back on active duty)
  • Sgt. Joel Lunsford (back on active duty)
  • Investigator Daniel Meads (on administrative leave)
  • Deputy Sheriff II Robert Morgan (on administrative leave)
  • Corp. Aaron Lewellyn (on administrative leave)

"I promised the citizens of this county I would be transparent and accountable in this matter. I have been," Wooten said. "I asked the court to make the body camera footage public. I insisted on outside investigations to ensure impartiality. And now I'm releasing the names of the deputies on the scene. I'll continue to be transparent whenever I can -- without interfering in the independent investigations."

A memorial grew in Elizabeth City on Thursday for Brown.

People have started leaving candles where he was shot and killed at the hands of deputies who were attempting to serve drug-related search and arrest warrants.

And some people have been drawn to his home -- no distance too far.

"I came from California," said Mohammad Lee. "I had a few things in Virginia."

During his trip, he felt compelled to go out of his way and stop on Perry Street.

"Just surreal. I can't even believe I'm here right now. I have to process this after I get in the car and drive off or something," he said.

Wednesday night, officers decked out in riot gear hauled away unarmed demonstrators for a second straight night in Elizabeth City.

Hundreds of peaceful demonstrators gathered at the Pasquotank County Courthouse on Wednesday evening protesting the killing of Brown.

Wednesday night's gathering came after a judge ruled bodycam and dashcam video of the killing could not be released to the public for at least 30 days. However, Brown's son would be allowed to view the video sometime in the next 10 days.

More than a dozen demonstrators were seen refusing to disperse after 8 p.m., which is when local leaders have implemented a curfew making gatherings after that time illegal. Five of those demonstrators were arrested, according to our newsgathering partners at the News & Observer.

Andrew Brown Jr.'s car made 'contact with' deputies before they shot and killed him, the district attorney said Wednesday.

One of the demonstrators at the event before 8 p.m. was Fayetteville resident Pendora Harrington.

"This happened in a country that I'm living in, that my kids have to live in. My son one day has to grow up and anytime I see a shooting like this, any incident, that could be my child, that could be my brother, that could be my cousin, that could be anyone," Harrington said.

These demonstrations are likely to continue into the weekend. At least one is already planned, and more people are making their way to Elizabeth City from other parts in North Carolina and across the country.

WATCH: Brown's son says video shows father was 'executed'

Attorneys representing Andrew Brown Jr.'s family said a Pasquotank County deputy executed him with a shot through the back of his head.