NEW HANOVER CO.
-- Sheriff Sid Causey says he is sick with worry for his officers and his department. Wednesday he released the names of the deputies involved in the shooting death of a teenager Friday night.
Those men were serving a search warrant to 18-year-old Peyton Strickland. He and two other men, Ryan Mills and Braden Riley, were accused of stealing two Playstation 3 video game consoles from a UNCW student last month. Mills was arrested and later bonded out. Riley also turned himelf in. Strickland and his dog were shot and killed Friday night.
The deputies involved in the shooting are Sgt. Greg Johnson, Cpl. Christopher Long, and Det. Larry Robinson. They are all on the emergency response team that went to serve Strickland the warrant at his home on Long Leaf Acres Drive in Wilmington.
The sheriff says UNCW police conducted the investigation into Strickland, Mills and Riley. The sheriff's office was asked to assist UNCW police because of the nature of the charges.
The sheriff says he waited to release the names of the deputies involved to allow them and their families to safely leave the county. They will stay away for an undetermined amount of time. They are on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.
Sheriff Causey was clearly upset Wednesday about the situation.
"To be honest, I feel sick over this. The officers are sick over this, and other people who aren't even involved feel sick over this."
A tentative press conference with the sheriff and the district attorney's office is scheduled for Monday morning.
This isn't the first time one of the deputies involved has been investigated for excessive force. Cpl. Chris Long was investigated in 2001 for shooting two teenagers. He said one of them tried to run over him with a car.
According to prior reports from law enforcement officers, Long said he pulled Greg Miller and Terry Green over for having a license plate that didn't match their vehicle. Detectives say Miller was driving the car and wouldn't surrender. They say Miller tried to run Long over, so the deputy shot both teenagers while they were inside the car.
Both went to the hospital and were arrested after being treated and released.
The investigation showed Long acted in self-defense. It also showed the teenagers were using the car for selling drugs. Deputies found a small amount of marijuana and a large amount of cash in the car. No weapons were found.