NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- Saturday marks the one year anniversary of the Peyton Strickland shooting.
Strickland was shot and killed by New Hanover County Sheriff's Deputy Christopher Long.
The parents of Strickland spoke out on Friday about their son's death and sharing their disappointment that justice has not been served.
Last December, Christopher Long was part of a team that went to Strickland's rental home in Wilmington to serve a warrant in connection with the theft of a playstation.
Long fired through a closed door, killing Strickland, who was unarmed.
Long said he mistakenly thought a battering ram used by officers was the sound of gunfire coming from inside.
The sheriff's department has offered no comment on Friday as Sheriff Sid Causey was out of town.
At Cape Fear Community College, where Strickland went to school, they're looking to the future and a scholarship that bears Strickland's name.
"This is something that is good that came from this, this was someone's child, now they'll help others, and people he never even knew," explained Margaret Robison of CFCC.
The scholarship has already helped one welding student at CFCC. The scholarship is an endowed scholarship with more than $50,000 already in place.
A candlelight vigil will be held in honor of Peyton Strickland on Saturday. The vigil will be held on the Cape Fear Community College docks on the waterfront in downtown Wilmington from 6:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
Below is the Strickland Family Response.
"Our son Peyton died one year ago when a New Hanover County Deputy Sheriff, with no provocation, fired a submachine gun through the windows of Peyton's unlocked front door. Peyton was unarmed and was about to open the door when he was fatally shot. The pain this deputy sheriff caused our family and Peyton's many friends will never cease. We are saddened that no one has yet been held accountable for Peyton's death -- and that the Sheriff's department has so far refused to accept responsibility and make the changes necessary to prevent a reoccurrence.
Peyton cared deeply about others. We know nothing can bring him back, but we also know that Peyton would have wanted his death to mean something positive for others. In Peyton's memory we have established and will continue to fund endowed scholarships at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington and The Hill Center in Durham.
We are thankful for the love and support of our friends and family and the remarkable kindness of strangers over the past year. As we look forward, we are committed to obtaining justice for Peyton and to having the Sheriff's Department accept responsibility for Peyton's death and make the changes necessary to avert another tragedy, or to be held liable for his death.
Don and Kathy Strickland
November 30, 2007"
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Reported by Joe Keiley
322 Shipyard Boulevard