Officer-involved shooting in Harnett County: What we know so far
Posted November 29, 2020 6:55 a.m. EST
Updated November 30, 2020 6:29 p.m. EST
Sanford, N.C. — More information is coming out after a Harnett County deputy shot a man overnight Saturday while responding to a 911 call.
Deputy M. J. Allen shot 34-year-old Bernard Junior Carnegie during what seems to have been a traffic stop for an unlit license plate. The shooting happened in the Highland Forest Subdivision, in a neighborhood near Alpine Drive and Tingen Road at around 12:41 a.m.
There are still many questions about what led up to the shooting, but witnesses said Carnegie began to run away from Allen when he saw him approaching with a gun. Carnegie's family said he ran away simply because he panicked upon seeing an officer approaching with weapons drawn.
Carnegie was shot in the shoulder by Allen. He is recovering at Cape Fear Hospital and expected to be okay.
A statement released by Sheriff Wayne Coats acknowledged the deputy had shot Carnegie. It also said investigators were "collecting all evidence seized, including the weapon found at the scene and the deputy’s service weapon."
An audio clip of the 911 call was also released, in attempt to provide details about the incident. A voice can be heard saying "34-year-old with gunshot wound to the back." In another clip, someone says, "The man with the gun has been shot in the side and he's 10-73."
Coats has called for calm and asked the public "to let the investigation take place."
"It'll be nothing but transparency out there," Coats added.
The SBI has been investigating the incident, but no further details have been released. However, Carnegie's family have spoken up about their perspective on the incident, and a witness described their vantage point.
Witness, family members describe what they saw and heard
Barbara Shelvin, Carnegie's cousin, said she saw blue lights as she pulled up.
She realized it was her cousin and brother who had been pulled over.
"My cousin seemed like he was scared," she said. "And my brother was scared because he's blind. He can't see."
She said Carnegie suddenly took off running, and the deputy opened fire.
Charonda Shelvin, another cousin, said she could hear the gunshots from the next street over, where she lives. She said she heard multiple gunshots, although Carnegie was only hit once.
"My other sister was here, and she witnessed him being shot by the police, so we was trying to find him and we couldn't. When we finally found him, he was in someone's driveway, but they wouldn't let us close to him."
It is unclear what happened to cause the deputies to draw their weapons.
Shots were fired. Carnegie was hit in the shoulder, and the bullet went straight through.
Carnegie's mother has spoken with her son since the shooting. She said he had been carrying marijuana, and that he gave the marijuana to the deputy.
An emotional response on social media
Shortly after the shooting, family and friends started posting video to social media.
In one video, a woman can be heard saying, "I'm going to go to the hospital to see how he's doing. They just told us that he was breathing, whenever they took him in the ambulance. Y'all, share this to y'all page. Get this out there because this nonsense has got to stop."
Carnegie's mother Beverly Brewington Hunter posted a Facebook video update on her son's condition.
She said, "Earlier, I got a call from my sister and my niece that my son had been shot by the Harnett County police."
"When I heard it, I just started crying and screaming. Then I got myself together a bit and started praying," she said.
"God is a good God. I have my brother, my sister, everybody who was watching the video praying for my son. I just wanted to let you know that he's going to be okay," she said emotionally. "But we need to get this out there."
Carnegie is recovering in the hospital. Photos show him giving a thumbs up to the camera.
Emotions were running high in the community, as people wait to find out more details about what led up to the shooting.
The sheriff called for the community to remain calm while they examine the incident and the State Bureau of Investigations investigates.
"We've got good people here. We ask everybody to let the investigation take course. We've called SBI in to do the investigation, anytime there's an officer-involved shooting, that's what we do," said Coats.
The deputy will be on administrative duty until the investigation concludes. Officials said when the 911 call is released, it should offer more insight into the events leading up to the shooting.