Deputies who shot Andrew Brown Jr. identified, 4 return to active duty
Investigator Daniel Meads, Deputy Robert Morgan and Cpl. Aaron Lewellyn fired shots at Brown and will remain on administrative leave.
Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten has identified the 10 deputies who swarmed the home of Andrew Brown, Jr. to serve him with an arrest warrant on felony drug charges, an incident that ended with Brown being shot to death.
Investigator Daniel Meads, Deputy Robert Morgan and Cpl. Aaron Lewellyn fired shots at Brown and will remain on administrative leave, according to Wooten.
Four deputies have since returned. They have been identified as Lt. Steven Judd, Sgt. Michael Swindell, Sgt. Kenneth Bishop and Sgt. Joel Lunford. These officers were returned to active duty after an internal investigation showed they never fired a shot at Brown.
“After reviewing the preliminary conclusions of the independent investigators conducting the internal review, and after carefully examining the body camera footage of the incident with my own staff, it’s obvious that four of the deputies never fired their weapons and deserve to be reinstated to active duty,” Wooten said.
Three other officers have resigned since Brown’s fatal April 21 shooting. A spokesperson said their resignations were unrelated to the encounter.
“I promised the citizens of this county I would be transparent and accountable in this matter. I have been,” Wooten said in a statement. “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.”
Wooten continued to ask for residents of the North Carolina county to not “rush to judgment.” He also said “deception and falsehoods” are being advanced by outside “agitators and social media instigators.”
Attorney H.P. Williams, the lawyer representing the authorities involved in the arrest, said “the officers are very distraught over what happened. They feel for the family of Andrew Brown.”
Brown was shot at least four times last Wednesday when he attempted to flee from the 10 officers who went to serve him with an arrest warrant for allegedly selling crack cocaine. At least one shot was the fatal one to the back of 42-year-old’s head.
The video of the shooting has not been released, in part, to redact the identity of the officers. It is unclear when the full video will be shared.