Local News

Vigil Planned for Anniversary of Teen's Death

Posted November 30, 2007 11:41 a.m. EST

— A candlelight vigil has been scheduled for Saturday night to mark the anniversary of a Durham teen's shooting death in a botched police raid.

Peyton Strickland, 18, was killed Dec. 1, 2006, by a New Hanover County deputy during an attempt to serve search and arrest warrants. Strickland was wanted in connection with the robbery of two PlayStation 3 game consoles from a University of North Carolina at Wilmington student.

Deputy Christopher Long said he mistook the sound of a battering ram for gunfire and fired shots through the front door of Strickland's rental house as the unarmed teen was opening the door. Long was fired days after the incident, but two grand juries voted not to indict him on criminal charges.

"The pain this deputy sheriff caused our family and Peyton’s many friends will never cease," Strickland's family said in a statement released Friday. "We are saddened that no one has yet been held accountable for Peyton’s death – and that the sheriff’s department has so far refused to accept responsibility and make the changes necessary to prevent a recurrence."

The vigil is scheduled from 6 to 8:45 p.m. Saturday on the Cape Fear Community College docks on the waterfront in downtown Wilmington.