District Attorney Announces Deputy's Indictment

Peyton Strickland
Peyton Strickland

NEW HANOVER CO. -- Christopher Long made his first appearance in court Monday after being charged with second degree murder in the death of 18-year-old Peyton Strickland.

According to investigators, Long says he and other members of the emergency response team went to Strickland's rented home on Long Leaf Acres Drive earlier this month to arrest the teen for armed robbery.

Long says they knocked on the front door, identified themselves, and saw Strickland look through the glass door, then turn toward the living room. Another deputy with a battering ram then hit the door.

Long claims he mistook that sound for gunfire coming from inside the house. That's when Long says he fired three shots through the door, hitting Strickland once in the head and once in the chest.

Long says Strickland's dog then came toward them. He shot the dog, and two other deputies fired shots at the dog as well.

District Attorney Ben David says Strickland did not have a weapon. He says Long's actions warrant a second degree murder charge because of his gross negligence and intentional use of a deadly weapon.

The other two deputies have been cleared of wrongdoing. David says they will not face charges.

Reported by Kacey Gaumer