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On April 21, 2021, Pasquotank County deputies shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr., 42, as they carried out drug-related search and arrest warrants. Several weeks later, District Attorney Andrew Womble announced he had reviewed the probe by the State Bureau of Investigation and determined that Brown's killing was justified. Womble's office would not pursue criminal charges against the officers involved. Brown's death renewed peaceful protests in Elizabeth City, as North Carolinians continued to call for change to root out racism. Follow WUNC's ongoing coverage of the case and its repercussions across the state.

Autopsy: Andrew Brown Jr. Died From Gunshot Wound To Head

AndrewBrownJr Series graphic.jpg
Kate Medley
for WUNC
A memorial has been set up surrounding the home of Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City, NC. Andrew Brown Jr., a 42-year-old Black man, was shot five times, including once in the back of the head, when Pasquotank County deputies tried to serve drug-related search and arrest warrants at his home April 21.

Updated at 1:32 p.m. on June 10, 2021.

The unarmed Black man who was fatally shot in April by sheriff's deputies in North Carolina died from a “penetrating gunshot wound of the head,” according to the official autopsy results released Thursday.

Andrew Brown Jr. also was shot in the right arm and suffered lacerations and other wounds to his right thigh, right arm and upper back. He had a low level of methamphetamine in his bloodstream. But it “likely did not play a role in Mr. Brown’s cause or manner of death,” which was homicide, the report said.

The examination offers few new details about the shooting in Elizabeth City that continues to reverberate through the small eastern North Carolina community. Since the shooting, residents have marched in protest of Brown's death and have been calling for police reforms.

One of the deputies who fired his gun at Brown handed in his resignation last week. And an FBI probe into the shooting is ongoing.

Attorneys for the Brown family said in a statement that autopsy results “prove what we’ve always known to be true: Pasquotank County deputies executed Andrew Brown Jr. with a kill shot to the back of the head."

Armed deputies were serving drug-related warrants at Brown's home when they surrounded Brown in his BMW. His car backed up and moved forward before several shots were fired at and into his vehicle. Attorneys for his family have repeatedly said Brown was trying to get away, while authorities have said he was using his car as a weapon.

An independent autopsy commissioned by Brown's family shortly after the April 21 shooting had already found that he was shot in the back of the head. Prosecutor Andrew Womble confirmed that finding at a news conference last month, during which he said the deputies were justified in shooting Brown.

The state autopsy released Thursday said emergency medical providers were dispatched to the scene of the shooting at about 8:25 a.m. and found Brown lying on the sidewalk “pulseless with cardiopulmonary resuscitation in progress.”

“Crew members noted a significant amount of blood near Mr. Brown,” the report stated. “Upon assessment, he was noted to have what were believed to be gunshot wounds of the head. Injuries were felt to be non-survivable and he was pronounced dead at the scene" at 8:32 a.m.

Brown family attorneys said in their statement that “we are confident that the truth will be revealed and justice will prevail” and “we won’t stop fighting for transparency and accountability from law enforcement and the district attorney.”

Associated Press
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