Local News

Family: Harnett deputies who shot man with cocaine in system were trespassing

Posted February 8, 2016 11:26 a.m. EST
Updated March 22, 2016 8:49 p.m. EDT

A man shot last fall during a confrontation with Harnett County deputies had cocaine and alcohol in his system when he was killed, according to an autopsy report released Monday.

John Livingston, 33, was shot and killed on the front porch of his Spring Lake home Nov. 15.

“We loved him and we miss him and our lives are changed forever,” said Livingston’s mother-in-law Elizabeth Lovings.

Deputies arrived at Livingston's Everett Street home to investigate a reported assault. Witnesses say Livingston told deputies the couple they were looking for didn't live there, and when deputies asked to search the home, he refused because they didn't have a search warrant.

“[They] kicked the door in and came in,” said Lovings. “They should not have been in the house, they were trespassing.”

Deputies say Livingston became combative and was shot. A deputy suffered minor injuries in the confrontation.

The autopsy report states that Livingston was shot three times from an "indeterminate/distant range." One of the bullets passed through his left arm into his chest, while the others also passed through his arms and ended up in his upper back and around his collar bone.

Toxicology tests showed that Livingston had a blood-alcohol content of 0.14 and had cocaine metabolites – chemicals created as the body tries to break down and get rid of cocaine – in his system.

​Deputy Nicholas Kehagias has been placed on administrative leave while the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation reviews the incident, which is standard procedure. Kehagias has worked with the Harnett County Sheriff's Office since July 2013 and is assigned to the Patrol Division.

Family members have protested outside the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office in the past.

“John was in his house, wasn’t bothering nobody,” Lovings said.