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Raleigh Police Report: Denkins Pulled Gun Before Officer Shot Him

A preliminary police report says a white Raleigh police officer fatally shot a black man during a struggle on Monday after the man pulled a gun from his waistband and reached toward the officer’s weapon. 

Senior officer D.C. Twiddy, a seven-year veteran of the force, was chasing 24-year-old Akiel Denkins when the two struggled behind a house in Southeast Raleigh, according to a preliminary report by Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown. She sent the report to the city manager on Thursday.

The reportis the most detailed account of the shooting officials have given to date. It recounts the shooting as follows: 

  • Twiddy was wearing his uniform and driving a patrol car on Bragg Street, a residential street just southeast of downtown Raleigh, when he spotted Denkins. Twiddy knew there was an outstanding warrant for Denkins for felony drug charges. When Twiddy parked the car and approached Denkins on foot, Denkins ran away and Twiddy followed.
  • Twiddy turned north from Bragg Street to south East Street and jumped over a fence and into the backyard of a house. Twiddy caught up to Denkins and grabbed Denkins in an attempt to arrest him.
  • As they struggled, Twiddy saw Denkins pull a handgun from the front of his waistband and move it toward the officer. Twiddy drew his weapon and shot Denkins multiple times. Twiddy felt Denkins touch his weapon.
  • “Officer Twiddy, fearing that Mr. Denkins was either going to shoot him or attempt to take his duty weapon, stepped back and fired additional shots at Mr. Denkins, who still had the firearm in his hand."
  •  “As of the writing of this report no eyewitness to the entire incident has been located or come forward."

In a separate preliminary report, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman says Denkins was shot four times: on the right side of the chest, right upper arm, right shoulder and left forearm, according to WRAL-TV

The State Bureau of Investigation is continuing an independent criminal investigation that it will present to the district attorney, while the police internal affairs unit is looking into whether departmental policies were followed during the incident.

The North Carolina chapter of the NAACP is working with Priscilla McKoy, a lawyer who represents Denkins’ family, to conduct an independent investigation. They ask that anyone with information about the shooting  contact Ms. McKoy at (919) 473-3285.

“We want to make sure the investigation is thorough, complete and transparent,” McKoy said.

Jorge Valencia has been with North Carolina Public Radio since 2012. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Jorge studied journalism at the University of Maryland and reported for four years for the Roanoke Times in Virginia before joining the station. His reporting has also been published in the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald, and the Baltimore Sun.
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