The shooting death of a Black father in Fayetteville by an off-duty white sheriff’s deputy is under investigation.
Jason Walker’s life ended near a Fayetteville roadway a little over a week ago, shot and killed by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy.
Walker, 37, was a single dad raising a teenage son. It’s not clear what happened in the moments that led up to the shooting, with conflicting accounts about whether or not Walker jumped onto the hood of the shooter’s truck.
Cell phone video shared shortly after the shooting showed neither the off-duty officer, Lt. Jeffrey Hash of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, nor responding Fayetteville police officers rendering aid to Walker. A bystander tried to staunch the bleeding alone.
Protests and marches have been going on nightly in Fayetteville to bring attention to Walker’s death.
“A man is on the ground, shot multiple times, dying, and we see on the video that the police come on the scene and they go to assist the shooter,” said Ben Crump, a Walker family attorney, in a press conference last week. “What type of sense does that make?”
Answers and transparency are needed, he said. Crump, who grew up in Lumberton, has built a national reputation for representing the families of men and women killed by law enforcement officers.
No arrests have been made and a criminal probe by the State Bureau of Investigation is ongoing.
Walker’s mother Janice said that she wants to see accountability.
“My prayer is that there will be peace, and most of all justice,” she said in a press conference last week.
What We Do Know
On the afternoon of Jan. 8, Hash was off duty and driving with his family on the busy Bingham Road near Shenandoah Drive.
Walker was on foot and near his family home.
In a 911 call he placed after shooting Walker, Hash said that he had stopped his car and Walker ran into the road, jumped on the hood of his truck and tore off a windshield wiper, attempting to break the windshield. Hash said he then shot Walker, fearing for the safety of his family.
After a judge ruled for the release of information, the Fayetteville police issued bodycam footage this past weekend of officers talking with eyewitnesses. The woman rendering aid to Walker told officers that Walker may have been hit by Hash’s vehicle, and that she didn’t think Walker appeared to be posing a risk.
But Walker’s father said he saw his son run into the road and leap onto the car. He told the officers he was unaware of whether his son had mental health issues.
Walker’s funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday morning at Cape Fear Conference B Headquarters, 10225 Fayetteville Road in Fayetteville.
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