Family of man killed by Pender County Deputies searching for answers

Family seeks answers in death of man killed by Sheriff's deputies
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 5:10 PM EST
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PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - There isn’t much information typically released by law enforcement or the district attorney when they are investigating the shooting death of someone by law enforcement. That’s the case up in Pender County, where two deputies shot and killed a 45-year-old man Kevin Swinson.

The State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has taken over the investigation into the shooting incident and only released minimal information, like the names of the deputies involved as well as the victim’s name, but family members are looking for more.

Brittany Swinson is Kevin’s oldest daughter. She says that law enforcement hasn’t told them anything about the incident.

“The SBI took the investigation about it; well, the only thing they have confirmed is his name. We have called and left voicemails and nobody has gotten back with us,” she said.

The SBI won’t release any more information than they already have, but a spokesperson for the SBI said they do stay in contact with family members.

“As with any investigation, SBI agents are in contact with family members through the course of the investigation. Once agents complete an investigation, the investigative file is submitted to the DA for review. The DA will determine if criminal charges are appropriate,” according to the SBI.

But Brittany Swinson says that has not been the case as she has left messages for the SBI trying to get information without any luck. It is possible the SBI has been in contact with other family members who have not told Brittany about it.

Information that can be shared during these investigations is often limited for good reason so that investigators are able to work without interference, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be questions.

Questioning the narrative

Brittany says things don’t make sense and the information that has been released is ambiguous. Police said they were serving a domestic violence protective order when they came across an armed suspect and the shooting took place.

They did not confirm whether they were looking for Swinson or if he was the subject of that protection order.

“I think that there is really more to the story than what we are being told because the way they are saying it went down. I’ve heard multiple stories about him being shot from the front; but if he was running, you know, that doesn’t make any sense,” Swinson said.

Swinson admitted her father had a history that got him in trouble with law enforcement, however, she is also convinced that he was not the kind of person to approach the police aggressively, instead, she said he would have run. As far as being armed goes, she said she did not know he even owned a gun and isn’t convinced he was armed.

“I don’t think he was — like I said, he would make you chase him, he’d be gone in a car or on foot. He wouldn’t have the opportunity to pull out a gun and whatnot,” she said.

According to court records, Charles Swinson, the father of Kevin Swinson, filed a domestic violence protection order on Dec. 6, 2021. Those records also show Kevin had been served on Dec. 12, 2021, and a hearing was set for Dec. 13. The shooting happened on the 14th.

There are no documents related to Dec. 14, and it is unclear why deputies were returning to the home if he had already been served two days prior.

The Pender County Sheriff’s Office issued a similar statement as the SBI saying it could not offer any additional comment on the investigation since PCSO is not the one in charge of it.

District Attorney Ben David’s office could not issue additional information but said they will invite the family to review their findings.

“It is also customary for families of the decedent to be invited to come to our office to review the investigative file with the attorney of their choosing once the investigation is complete and our office has announced a decision regarding criminal charges. Until the investigation is complete, communication with the decedent’s family must be directed to the SBI. Our office will not be able to provide any additional comment or information before the investigation is complete,” Samantha Dooies, Assistant to the DA said.

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