Protests erupt after off-duty officer shoots man who was attacking his truck that had his family inside

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FAYETTEVILLE, NC – Protests erupted after an off-duty Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant fatally shot a man Saturday who he said ran into the road and jumped onto the hood of his pickup truck with his family inside.

The deputy, whom the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office identified Monday as Lt. Jeffrey Hash, was placed on leave pending an internal investigation.

The shooting happened Saturday on Bingham Drive in Fayetteville. Hash was driving his family in a pick-up truck off-duty when a man reportedly jumped on the hood of his truck, broke off a windshield wiper, and began beating the windshield with it.

The lieutenant fatally shot the man during the encounter. In a 911 call Hash made immediately following the shooting, he said that he shot the man, identified as 37-year-old Jason Walker:

“A male jumped on my vehicle and broke my windshield. I just shot him. I’m a lieutenant with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office….

“I was driving down the road, and he came flying across Bingham Drive running. Then I stopped so I wouldn’t hit him, and he jumped on my car and started screaming, pulled my windshield wipers off and started beating my windshield and broke my windshield.

I had my wife and my daughter in my vehicle.”

The 911 tape was released Tuesday by the Fayetteville Police Department.

The dispatcher asked Hash if the man was breathing, and Hash said no:

“He’s gone, ma’am. … No, ma’am, he is not. He’s gone.”

However, a bystander who identified herself as a trauma nurse treated Walker at the scene. While on the 911 call, the lieutenant said that a gathering crowd was growing “hostile.”

Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins said walker was pronounced dead at the scene:

“The preliminary investigation has revealed an adult male ran into traffic and jumped on a moving vehicle. … The male subject was pronounced dead on scene.”

Sheriff Ennis Wright said Hash has served with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office since 2005 and is currently assigned as a lieutenant in the Civil Section.

According to a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, Hash is on paid administrative leave.

Protests erupt after off-duty officer shoots man who was attacking his truck that had his family inside

The shooting prompted several days of protests, with family members questioning how the shooting occurred. One of Walker’s cousins told ABC11 Sunday:

“I don’t believe he threw himself on top of a truck. I believe he wanted to live. I just want justice for my cousin because it’s not adding up.”

 

The man’s family said he was not a violent person and said they believed Hash had hit Walker with his vehicle before the shooting. Police have said there is no indication the two men knew each other.

They also added that the “black box” on Hash’s truck did not register and type of strike or impact before the shooting.

Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump is representing the family. He claimed the nurse’s comments confirmed the family’s concerns:

“This compelling interview with Elizabeth Ricks, one of the few witnesses to Jason Walker’s senseless killing, begins to clear up some of the facts in this case. The fact that a civilian was the only person that rendered aid to Jason as he took his last breath is horrifying.

“It is apparent by Ms. Ricks’ accounts that the off-duty officer who was involved in this incident, as well as the officers who responded to the incident, were self-interested and concerned about obscuring how the public would see this killing, rather than concerned for Jason in his final moments.”

On Monday, authorities asked that people wait for the investigation’s outcome. They also clarified that the officers did not render aid on scene because a medical professional was doing so.

Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin stated:

“We ask people to give some patience and calmness. Let us be there for the families in the meantime. I’m sure they want justice, they want answers, just like we want the same thing, and we ask people to remain calm. We’ll get a lot more accomplished by doing it the right way through the system.”

On Wednesday, several Fayetteville City Council members Courtney Banks-McLaughlin, Shakeyla M. Ingram and Yvonne Y. Kinston issued a statement to residents:

“We would like to first extend our condolences to the Walker family as they grieve the loss of their loved one. Recently, there have been several actions taken to bring transparency to this tragic event.

We think it’s important to acknowledge Chief Gina V. Hawkins and the Fayetteville Police Department for reaching out to the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) to take the lead on this investigation to ensure full transparency is being met.

In our recent city council meeting the council gave official direction for our city attorney and city manager to request that the Department of Justice review the city’s response and policies to include providing any assistance available to the investigation being conducted by the SBI.

“We want to strongly reflect and ensure to our citizens that we are responding to their concerns on these tragic events and our hearts ache with you as we are not only leaders of this city, but neighbors that live in this city with you.

We all are doing our job to ensure all answers and evidence are presented and will support the SBI in any way we can during this investigation as they are now the lead investigators.”

Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West said the investigation is being handled by the State Bureau of Investigation. Investigators have asked anyone who may have witnessed the incident to contact police.

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Officer cleared! DA rules Wisconsin cop justified for shooting knife-wielding criminal

January 2, 2021

 

EAU CLAIRE, WI – The Eau Claire County District Attorney’s Office has concluded that the use of deadly force by an officer against LeKenneth Miller last year was justified, and no charges will be filed.

According to a criminal complaint, authorities received a 911 hang-up call on Nov. 3, 2021, at approximately 2:39 p.m.

The caller, who was hiding in the bedroom of a Selma Street home with another female. said that the female’s ex-boyfriend LeKenneth Miller had broken into the home and was trying to get into the locked bedroom they were hiding in.

They also said he had gone to the kitchen and retrieved a knife.

The caller said Miller had strangled his ex-girlfriend a week prior.

The dispatcher tried to have the two women escape through a window, but they could not do so.

Responding officers reported hearing screaming inside the home as they arrived at the scene. The 911 dispatcher also heard screaming over the telephone.

City of Eau Claire Police Officers Kristopher O’Neill and Jason Kaveney drew their service weapons, ran toward the house, and attempted to access the locked front door by kicking it in.

Unsuccessful, they ran to a side door where they were met by the caller, who was running out of the house and hysterically screaming that Miller had stabbed her friend.

Police entered the home and heard the female screaming. Police encountered Miller holding a knife in the kitchen and ordered him to drop the weapon.

He refused and moved toward officers. At that point, according to police, Officer O’Neill shot Miller multiple times.

Police quickly searched the home and found the female victim in the bathroom suffering from multiple stab wounds. The victim was airlifted to Mayo Hospital in Rochester for treatment.

Miller, 30,  was pronounced dead at the scene.

No law enforcement officers were injured during the incident. The female victim has not been identified by police.

The Eau Claire County District Attorney’s Office concluded:

“The Eau Claire Country District Attorney’s Office has determined that the actions of City of Eau Claire Police Officer Kristopher O’Neil on November 3, 2021, in the course of his law enforcement duties in the city and county of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, were reasonable acts of self-defense and defense of others.”

The officers were also praised by their police department, who called them heroes:

“Officers Kris O’Neill and Jason Kaveney took decisive and necessary action to protect members of our community.

“When doing so, they put themselves in harm’s way. Once LeKenneth Miller’s violent behavior was stopped, officers immediately began administering life-saving measures to both Miller and the person he was attacking with a knife. The actions of these officers were heroic.” 

  

 

 

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