NEW HANOVER CO. -- In a Wednesday morning press conference, Sheriff Sid Causey released the names of the deputies involved in a shooting Friday night that killed 18-year-old Peyton Strickland.
The deputies are: Sgt. Greg Johnson, Det. Larry Robinson, and Corporal Christopher Long.
The sheriff's office has moved the men and their families out of the county because there have been more than a dozen death threats against them. The deputies will remain there for an undetermined amount of time. They are all on administrative paid leave pending the investigation.
"I don't know of an easy way to get in a house where there may be guns and may be people that want to harm you. There's a lot of those out there. There's many officers killed everyday and a lot of them, most of them, are in the southeastern part of the country. We just want an equal chance to look at the investigation and if it shows that we're at fault, I'll take responsibility for that," says Sheriff Causey.
There will be another press conference on Monday, December 11 when more information will be released.
On Tuesday, District Attorney Ben David met with Strickland's family to talk about the investigation.
Strickland's family attended a vigil at their son's Wilmington home on Long Leaf Acres Drive Monday night. Several of his friends also attended the event. After the vigil, his family headed back home to Durham.
Don Strickland's law partner says Ben David came to Durham first thing Tuesday morning to meet with the Strickland family at their home. He says the family wants everyone to know how appreciative they are that David came to speak with them, but they are not ready to make a comment on camera about the death of their son.
Peyton Strickland's funeral is Wednesday at 2:00pm in Durham.
Many people are questioning the sheriff's department's use of lethal force. According to the search warrant, a picture is part of the reason UNCW police considered Strickland and his friend Ryan Mills dangerous. The picture shows Mills and some other young men posing with weapons.
Both Strickland and Mills were accused of robbing a UNCW student of two Playstation 3 systems in November. Some of Strickland and Mills' friends say all the guns in the photo are legal and the picture was just a joke.
Stay tuned to WECT News at 5 and 6 for more about what Sheriff Causey said in Wednesday's press conference.
Reported by Kacey Gaumer