Sheriff Tommy Wooten II and other law enforcement officers outside the courthouse in Elizabeth City on Wednesday. Calvin Adkins / Carolina Public Press.

The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office released the names of the seven sheriff’s officers involved in the fatal shooting Andrew Brown Jr. on April 21. 

The three officers identified in the statement as those who fired their weapons — Investigator Daniel Meads, Deputy Robert Morgan and Cpl. Aaron Lewellyn — remain on leave. 

Review of the body camera footage and preliminary investigation results show clearly that four of the officers did not fire their weapons and “deserve to be reinstated to active duty,” Sheriff Tommy Wooten II said in a statement, identifying those officers as Lt. Steven Judd and Sgts. Michael Swindell, Kenneth Bishop and Joel Lunsford.

“More investigation is necessary into the three deputies who did fire their weapons, and they will remain on administrative leave pending completion of the internal investigation and/or the criminal investigation being conducted by the State Bureau of Investigation,” Wooten said. 

Wooten also released the names of three officers who resigned or retired, saying they were not involved in the shooting. Lt. Christopher Terry and Deputy William Harris resigned, and Deputy James Flowers is retiring.

In a post on his Facebook page the day after the incident, Terry wrote, “After 12 years of service to my community as a deputy, I have decided to step away from my position. I will use this time to reflect on the experiences I’ve had, the amazing people I’ve met, and the love and respect I’ve received from perfect strangers. I pray that the same love and respect for one another is shown as we navigate our way through the days ahead. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve Pasquotank County. It’s been an honor.”

According to an autopsy conducted by Dr. Brent Hall at the request of Brown’s family attorneys, Brown died within minutes from a gunshot wound to the base of his skull. Brown had four additional gunshot wounds to his right arm, the autopsy report shows. 

According to previous statements from Wooten, the officers shot Brown while attempting to serve two arrest warrants from Dare County and a search warrant from Pasquotank County as part of a multicounty drug task force.

The arrest warrants were issued for four drug-related offenses, and the search warrant relied on information from confidential informants about drug-related activity to search the premises at 421 Perry St. in Elizabeth City. The arrest warrants were subsequently dismissed, and the search warrant was returned unexecuted.

Laura Lee

Laura Lee is the News Editor at Carolina Public Press. Contact her at llee@carolinapublicpress.org.

Jordan Wilkie

Jordan Wilkie is a Report for America corps member and is the lead contributing reporter covering election integrity, open government, and civil liberties for Carolina Public Press. Email jwilkie@carolinapublicpress.org to contact him.