State News

New Hanover County pays roommate of shooting victim

Posted November 2, 2010

— New Hanover County has agreed to pay $200,000 to the roommate of a Durham teen who was shot and killed during a sheriff's raid almost four years ago.

The StarNews of Wilmington reported Tuesday that the settlement with Michael Rhoton is connected to the Dec. 1, 2006, shooting death of 18-year-old Peyton Strickland by a sheriff's corporal.

Rhoton's lawsuit said the New Hanover County sheriff's office failed to follow proper procedures while serving a warrant on Strickland at their home in Wilmington.

Strickland had been suspected of taking a University of North Carolina at Wilmington student's Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles when Cpl. Christopher Long accidentally shot Strickland during a raid.

Strickland, who was unarmed, was shot in the head and in the chest as he went to open the front door, authorities said.

Long told investigators he shot when he mistook the sound of a battering ram against the front door for gunshots. He was fired shortly after the incident, but two grand juries declined to indict him on criminal charges.

Strickland's parents reached a $2.45 million settlement with New Hanover County in 2008. In addition to the monetary payment, Sheriff Sid Causey issued a public apology for the shooting and promised to review the policies and procedures of his department's Emergency Response Team.

Attorney Tom Comerford says Rhoton's settlement acknowledges the problems his client has had because of the shooting.


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  • Sherlock Nov 3, 2010

    WoW he only got 200K for this, that better than GI's with real PTSD. This is only a money game for the kid. Over time something else will happen and he will sue someone again. The kid has no problems other than money he was paid to just make him go away because his lawyer could not get 2mil for him.

  • Lightfoot3 Nov 3, 2010

    "when Cpl. Christopher Long accidentally shot Strickland during a raid." -

    Accidently? NO! He PURPOSELY shot blindly through a closed door, from the OUTSIDE. He should have been indicted.

    Not sure the roommate is owned anything though. In general, though there may be a few exceptions, I think these kind of lawsuits are shams and money driven.

  • Gork Nov 2, 2010

    Our first responders with battering rams and drawn guns going after a couple of teenagers who might have stolen a video game - what could go wrong?

  • Dat MoFo Nov 2, 2010

    Spare me the PTSD nonsense. PTSD has become the all purpose excuse along with ADD. I saw a woman killed in a car wreck two years ago when someone else ran a red light. I think I'll claim I want a handout due to PTSD.

  • Viewer Nov 2, 2010

    His buddy was shot dead in front of him. Have some of you never heard of Post Traumatic stress Disorder (PTSD)? PTSD, its' not just a soldiers' disease.

  • Kristen168 Nov 2, 2010

    Shot his dog too! To those of you who think shooting through a door is okay, think again. It's not.

  • Dave Green Nov 2, 2010

    It's all about the money.

  • 2alegal Nov 2, 2010

    I wouldn't have paid either of them anything!!!!! Glad I don't live in New Hanover County.

  • llf Nov 2, 2010

    problems or no problems. He was unarmed and shot twice. He should have known his partners was at the other door with a battering ram.

  • Karmageddon Nov 2, 2010

    What a crock! This guy had "problems" long before this took place