Fayetteville, N.C. — A Fayetteville police officer responding to a domestic disturbance call early Sunday evening shot and killed a teenager who allegedly displayed a handgun during a confrontation with the officer, the city's police chief said.
Chief Harold Medlock told reporters late Sunday night that Officer Christopher Hunt was trying to take a woman into custody shortly after 6 p.m. when the teenager, Shaqur McNair, 16, refused to obey Hunt's commands to back away from him.
"The young man pulled his shirt up with his left hand. There was a handgun in the waistband," Medlock said. "The young man began to draw that handgun out, and Officer Hunt fired at least three rounds."
McNair was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Dewanna McIntyre, McNair's cousin, said Sunday that the family isn't sure exactly what led to the shooting and that they are awaiting answers.
"We want justice to be served. An innocent (16)-year-old kid was killed, and we want to know why," McIntyre said. "We do know that he was gunned downed by police, an innocent kid, with no weapon, and he was shot and killed."
Detectives recovered a handgun from the scene that was reported stolen out of South Carolina in February 2012, they said.
The State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate, which is a standard practice whenever a law enforcement officer is involved in a shooting.
Hunt, 27, who has been with the Fayetteville Police Department since July 2011, has been placed on administrative duty.
"This is a tragedy, because we had an officer who was trying to deal with a very dangerous, volatile situation," Medlock said.
Hunt was the first officer to respond to 201 Bertram Place in Fayetteville's Loch Lomond subdivision, where a crowd of about 12 to 15 people had gathered in the street. While waiting for other officers to arrive, Hunt arrested a man after observing injuries to a woman related to the call.
It was during that arrest that the man's mother, Alfricka Bennett, approached Hunt, struck him on the head and tried to take away her son, Medlock said. As Hunt was struggling with Bennett in a yard, several people approached them, and Hunt ordered them to back away.
"There was one young man who refused to do so, and he had his hands at the front of his waist," Medlock said. "Officer Hunt, as the young man continued to advance, told the young man to back up."
Hunt had handcuffed Bennett, 39, and was getting up off the ground when the teen reportedly produced the handgun.
Bennett was arrested and charged with assault on a government official.
Medlock said that, although no police department policy was violated by the officer responding to the call alone, he has already directed officers, moving forward, to wait for a second officer before going into a domestic dispute.
Hunt had been close when the call came in, Medlock said, and he thought his backup was close when he responded.
"Quite frankly, I don't like for my cops to show up on any domestic call by themselves," Medlock said. "For a domestic, you always know there are at least two people involved. If one officer shows up, we're automatically behind the game, and that certainly was the case tonight."