RALEIGH, N.C. --A police officer in Raleigh, North Carolina, shot and killed a man wanted on felony drug charges during a foot chase Monday. Family members claimed the man was unarmed.
"He was running away," said Rolanda Byrd. "They couldn't catch him so they shot at him seven times."
Byrd told WTVD-TV that the man shot and killed by police was her son, Akiel Denkins, who was wanted on a warrant. Police have not identified the man.
This is Rolanda Byrd. Her son is Akiel Denkins. 24 years old. 2 children. Police won't say if shooting was fatal. pic.twitter.com/K6jJCiZqOG— Jon Camp (@JonCampABC11) February 29, 2016
"Everybody seen it," said Byrd. "They (are not) going down with this one. They (are not) going to get away with this one. There's at least 40 eyewitnesses out here."
The shooting happened at Bragg Street and S. East Street in southeast Raleigh around noon close to a business called PJ's Grill and Groceries.
Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck Brown said gun was found near the man. He promised a thorough investigation, which will "follow the available facts and evidence wherever they may lead."
Byrd said several people told her that her 24-year-old son was unarmed and was shot by a white officer.
As word of the shooting spread, a small group of demonstrators arrived at the scene and started chanting "Black lives matter."
Raleigh's city council was supposed to hold a meeting on the use of body cameras on police officers Monday, but the event was canceled because of the shooting.
"This is obviously a sad, terrible situation," Mayor Nancy McFarlane told reporters. "We are all very saddened by the news."
Denkins was the father of two sons and turned 24 on Feb. 8.
Brown said the State Bureau of Investigation as well as Internal Affairs are working on the case. The findings will be presented to the Wake County District Attorney.
"This is a sad day, and our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved," said Brown.