Local News

Slain student's family brings casket to homecoming parade

While others cheered the passing North Carolina Central University's homecoming parade, the family of a slain student stood beside a casket, waving signs.

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Adam Owens, WRAL anchor/reporter,
Deborah Strange, Digital journalist
DURHAM, N.C. — While others cheered the passing North Carolina Central University’s homecoming parade, the family of a slain student stood beside a casket, waving signs.

It was hard to ignore.

“Today, we are here to bring it to the attention of the alumni and the parents here,” said Miguel Staten.

Staten’s nephew, 23-year old DeAndre Ballard, an NCCU senior, was shot and killed at his off-campus apartment complex by a security guard in September, authorities say.

More than a month-and-a-half later, Ballard's family does not feel they have the whole story.

“We understand an investigation has to take place, but at the same time, we don’t want it to go quiet until we get all the questions answered that we need,” Staten said.

A 911 call made by the security guard that shot Ballard suggests he tried to fight the security guard and went for his gun.

Family members do not believe it.

“It’s very painful,” Staten said.

According to a search warrant, the security guard saw Ballard trying to get into a silver sedan. When the guard shouted to ask if everything was OK, Ballard opened the guard’s car door and sat in the front passenger seat. The guard was sitting in the driver’s seat.

The guard told Ballard to get out of the car. When the guard exited the car, he thought Ballard tried to turn the car on.

When Ballard got out of the car, he “put his hands on” the guard, the warrant says, “immediately making him fear that the male was trying to hurt him.”

The guard drew his gun and asked Ballard “what was wrong with him” before shooting him in the abdomen.

A witness told police he saw the guard and Ballard struggle over the guard’s gun and thought Ballard was overpowering the guard.

After Ballard was shot, the witness called 911 and positioned Ballard upright.

In an email to the family, police asked for patience and trust.

Ballard would have graduated from N.C. Central University in May.

Family members want the school community to fight with them for answers.

They will take their search for answers to City Hall.

The family plans to meet with the city manager later this month.


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