by Locker Room contributor
I don’t want to prejudge what’s going on in Wilmington regarding the shooting by New Hanover sheriff’s deputies of a Jordan High School grad who was suspected of stealing two PS3 video games. As with the Duke lacrosse players, Peyton Strickland was innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, he’s dead as a result of something that happened at his front door.
Strickland, from all accounts, was not a model citizen, but he was a young man with obvious talent for things mechanical. His high school friends portray a person quite different from the person charged twice with assault recently. So, why did the deputies fire? A roommate says it may have been because Strickland answered the door with a wireless video game controller in his hand.
Peyton Strickland’s roommate, Mike Rhoton, said Strickland was unarmed, but may have been holding a video game controller when he went to the door as it was bashed in by officers.
[New Hanover County Sheriff Sid] Causey would not comment on why officers felt it necessary to call in his department’s emergency response team to conduct what he termed a “high risk” search.
But deputies, who haven’t said much, seem to be making a case for some provocation by Strickland.
“If this boy would’ve come to the door, opened the door, we probably wouldn’t be talking,” Causey said Sunday.
They have now said that a photo on a Web site prompted them to approach the door fully armed and ready for action.
No one knows what happened at the door, but this has to be a law-enforcement agency’s worst nightmare for more than the obvious reasons: a suspect is killed and his father is a high-powered attorney with major political connections.