Authorities investigating fatal shooting of Jason Walker killed by off-duty deputy
Cumberland County sheriff’s deputy Jeffrey Hash fatally shot Jason Walker, 37, on Saturday, according to investigators.
State authorities in North Carolina are investigating the fatal shooting of a Black man who was killed during an encounter with an off-duty sheriff’s deputy in the city of Fayetteville on Saturday.
Jason Walker, 37, has been identified as the victim, according to the Fayetteville Police Department. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said one of its deputies, Jeffrey Hash, is the man who shot and killed Walker.
Local authorities have asked the state Bureau of Investigation to determine exactly what happened during the incident, which has led to multiple days of protests in the surrounding community.
Fayetteville Police said they responded to a call about a shooting around 2:18 p.m. on Saturday. They said an off-duty deputy later identified as Hash was driving his pickup truck on Bingham Drive near Shenandoah Drive in Fayetteville when the shooting occurred.
A preliminary investigation determined Walker ran into traffic and jumped on Hash’s moving truck before Hash shot and killed Walker and called 911, authorities said. But a witness account reported by the Fayetteville Observer said Hash’s truck struck Walker before he was shot.
A self-identified trauma nurse named Elizabeth Ricks told authorities Walker was standing on the side of the road waiting for a car to pass before he tried to cross the street and was hit by Hash’s truck, according to the newspaper.
Ricks and her boyfriend Chase Sorrell said they were driving in a vehicle two car lengths behind Hash’s truck when she spotted Walker.
Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins said Ricks’ story is not supported by the evidence, according to the Fayetteville Observer. Audio from Hash’s 911 call, which was obtained by the newspaper, revealed Hash repeatedly told a dispatcher Walker jumped on his red Ford F-150 pickup truck before being shot.
“I was driving down the road and he came flying across Bingham Drive, running, and then I stopped so I wouldn’t hit him and he jumped on my car and started screaming,” Hash told the dispatcher, referring to Walker. “[He] pulled my windshield wipers off, and started beating my windshield and broke my windshield. … I had my wife and my daughter in my vehicle.”
“Did he have any weapons, sir?” the dispatcher asked.
“No, he just tore my wipers off and started beating,” Hash responded. “He busted my windshield. I don’t know, ma’am.”
Ricks can be heard on the 911 call saying Walker was still alive as she tried to stop his bleeding.
“He has a light pulse right now. I need EMS now,” Hash told the dispatcher in response. Cell phone video captured by Ricks’s boyfriend showed the aftermath of the shooting as a large group of people began gathering at the scene.
A pair of voices were heard on the 911 audio asking Hash where the bullet holes on Walker’s body were so Ricks could stop his bleeding.
“I don’t know,” Hash said. “He was on the front of my vehicle. He jumped on my car.”
“I don’t care about that, where is the entry point?” Ricks replied.
“I do not know,” Hash answered.
Fayetteville Police said the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Hash has been placed on administrative leave while an internal investigation takes place, the county sheriff’s office said. Hash has been a member of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office since 2005, according to the department.
Prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump has been retained by Walker’s family. In a statement, Crump said the family, “has reason to believe” Walker’s shooting was a case of “shoot first, ask questions later.”
Crump told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that Walker was “shot in the back as he tried to return home.” The attorney said Walker was less than 100 yards away from his parents’ home when he was shot.
“We stand committed, with the family and young son that Jason Walker left behind, to finding answers as to what happened to him when he was senselessly shot by off duty deputy Jeffrey Hash,” Crump said in a statement shared on Twitter.
“We look to the North Carolina [State Bureau of Investigation] for a swift and transparent investigation so that we can get justice for Jason and his loved ones,” he added.
Other witnesses and individuals with video of Walker’s shooting are being asked to contact the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.
“This is an ongoing investigation and no further information is available at this time,” a spokesperson for the bureau said in a press release on Tuesday.
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