Mother searches for answers after deadly Durham police-involved shooting

Joel Brown Image
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Mother of slain man wants answers
Vanrea Lynch is looking for answers after her son was shot and killed by poilce.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's been nine days since Ondrea Hutchinson was shot and killed by Durham Police. Now, his mother is telling ABC11 that she just wants to see the remains of her son.

Hutchinson's mother, Vanrea Lynch, drove to the Triangle from her home in Georgia in the hours after the police-involved shooting on March 30. She's been looking for answers ever since.

"I need some answers," Lynch said. "As a mother I need some answers, so I can have peace."

Lynch arrived in the Triangle last week in desperate hope of finding some closure -- some answers about what happened in the pre-dawn hours that day in Durham on Bevel Court.

Her 30-year-old son was shot by Durham Police officers who responded to the home after a 911 call from Hutchinson's girlfriend. She said he was damaging property and scaring their child. Minutes after police arrived, Hutchinson was dead.

His younger brother, Clinton Basco, had to make the call to their mother.

"And he was like, 'Mom, my brother's gone,'" she recalled. "And I'm like, 'Gone where?' I panicked, I said, 'C.J., where is my son?' And he said, 'he's been shot. I said, 'By whom?'"

We went line-by-line through the 5-day report released by DPD last Thursday as Lynch shook her head in disbelief.

It says the two initial officers tried to talk to Hutchinson, as he yelled and ranted. It says he continued to refuse the officers' commands with physical and verbal aggression. DPD say Hutchinson grabbed an officer's gun, then punched the officer.

By the end of the struggle there were four officers involved. One of the officer deployed a 'Taser' to no effect, police said. That's when Officer J.E. Jimenez shot and killed Hutchinson.

"It's four police against one little skinny man. He's real small. He's probably about as small as his brother. And you mean to tell me four people had to just fire a shot," Lynch said.

Lynch says her calls last week to Durham Police were not returned and her questions about when she'll be able to view her son's remains have gone unanswered.

"They tell me he's in the morgue and I cannot see him," she said. "I don't know how my son looks. I don't know nothing. I can't identify my son. A mother knows her kid. And she gets that feeling. And this feeling won't leave me alone. It just keeps saying, you've got to fight this."

When ABC11 reached out to Durham Police on Monday about Lynch's complaints about a lack of communication about what happened and how long it's taking to get custody of her son's remains, we were referred to the medical examiner's office and the State Bureau of Investigation who is leading the investigation. Our inquiry has not yet been answered.

In the meantime, Lynch is planning a funeral for Friday. However, there is no guarantee her son's body will be there.