North Carolina Man Killed During Struggle With Officer, Police Say

Friday, March 4, 2016
North Carolina Man Killed During Struggle With Officer, Police Say
Rolonda Byrd, who says she is the mother of shooting victim Akiel Denkins, cries during a news conference near the scene of the shooting in Raleigh, N.C., March 1, 2016.

The 24-year-old North Carolina man who was killed by a Raleigh police officer was shot four times during a struggle after a foot chase in the downtown area, according to police and a preliminary autopsy report.

Raleigh resident Akiel Denkins was shot by Senior Officer D.C. Twiddy in the chest, both arms and right shoulder, according to a preliminary autopsy report. But, the report did not specify whether the shots came from the front or back.

Twiddy recognized Denkins shortly before noon on Feb. 29 and was aware of an outstanding warrant for his arrest on felony drug charges, according to a preliminary report from the Raleigh Police Department. But, when Twiddy approached him, Denkins took off running, the report says.

Once Twiddy grabbed Denkins, he felt him reaching for an object at the front of his waistband, the report states. As the struggle continued, Twiddy saw Denkins pull a handgun and "move it toward Officer Twiddy," the report, addressed to City Manager Ruffin Hall, says.

Twiddy then shot Denkins multiple times, according to the Raleigh City Manager. After the first shots were fired, Twiddy felt Denkins make contact with his gun, and he fired additional shots at him in fear that he would attempt to take his firearm or shoot him with his own, the report says.

Denkins still had the gun in his hand when he was shot, but he dropped it as he fell to the ground, the report said. The gun had been reported stolen on Jan. 31.

Twiddy received minor injuries during the encounter but was not seriously injured, the report says. He was placed on administrative duty following the shooting.

The State Bureau of Investigation is conducting a separate criminal investigation and the results will be sent to the district attorney's office for review. Separately, the Raleigh Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit is conducting a departmental review, the report said.

Twiddy is a senior officer assigned to the Field Operations Division and has been employed with the Raleigh Police Department since 2009, Raleigh Police Deparmtnet spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

"The information we have today is not the complete story and only the beginning of the investigation," Hall said in a statement, calling the incident a "trying" time for the city.

After the shooting, protesters gathered behind the yellow crime-scene tape at the scene and chanted, "No justice, no peace!" the Associated Press reported.

The head of the NAACP is calling on authorities to conduct a fair and transparent investigation into the shooting, according to the AP.

It is unclear if Twiddy had obtained a lawyer. He did not immediately return ABC News' request for comment.

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