A white North Carolina officer fatally shot a black man during a struggle when the man pulled a gun from his waistband and then reached toward the officer's weapon, police said Thursday.
Officer D.C. Twiddy had been trying to arrest 24-year-old Akiel Denkins on Monday when the two got into a struggle, according to a report from Raleigh Police Chief C.L. Deck-Brown released Thursday. The report gives the following account:
Twiddy was chasing Denkins, trying to arrest him on felony charges. Denkins was trying to jump over a fence when he stopped and turned toward the officer, and the officer then grabbed Denkins as he tried to arrest him. Denkins pulled a gun from the front of his waistband and began to move it toward the officer, and that's when Twiddy fired several shots.
As the two continued to struggle, Twiddy felt Denkins' hand or arm "make contact" with his weapon.
"Officer Twiddy, fearing that Mr. Denkins was either going to shoot him or attempt to take his duty weapon, stepped back and fired additional shots at Mr. Denkins, who still had the firearm in his hand," the report said.
At that point, the report said, Denkins collapsed and dropped the gun, which had previously been reported stolen.
There is no dash cam video of the shooting because it happened away from the officer's patrol car, and because the car's blue lights weren't turned on, which is necessary to activate the camera.
Separately, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said a preliminary autopsy shows Denkins was shot in his right chest, left forearm, right upper arm, and right shoulder. The gunshots caused injuries to Denkins' heart and lungs.