Videos show witnesses left shocked, confused after off-duty North Carolina sheriff’s deputy fatally shot Black man

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Newly released body cam footage shows witnesses struggled to understand what had happened after an off-duty Sheriff’s deputy shot Jason Walker in a North Carolina street on Saturday.

Fayetteville officials have released three police body camera videos from the scene of where Lt. Jeffrey Hash, an off-duty lieutenant with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, fatally shot Walker, a Black man.

While extensive footage of the scene after the shooting exists, there is no known video of the shooting or the events leading up to it.

The footage shows distraught, confused witnesses, as well as Walker’s shocked father, describing the chaotic scene to police officers.

BACKGROUND:Jason Walker’s family, attorney call for justice after fatal shooting

911 CALL:Off-duty North Carolina sheriff’s deputy fatally shoots Black man

Hash told police he was driving in his pickup truck with his wife and daughter Saturday afternoon when he encountered Walker attempting to cross the street in front of him.

Hash then came to a stop, though there are conflicting accounts of whether or not Hash’s truck struck Walker.

A witness told police that Walker jumped onto the hood of Hash’s truck, broke off a windshield wiper and began hitting the windshield with the broken wiper.

A man who identified himself as Anthony Walker, Jason Walker’s father, echoed this narrative, saying his son jumped on the hood of the vehicle before pulling off a windshield wiper.

“He came out the yard and I was trying to get him to come back over here,” Anthony Walker said. “And I called him. I said, ‘Come back, Jason.'”

Other witnesses expressed confusion over the events leading up to the shooting.

“I don’t know exactly what happened,” another witness can be heard saying. “I don’t understand.” 

Moments later, Hash can be heard in a bystander’s video saying he was trying to protect his wife and daughter when he shot Walker. He also said this in a recording of a 911 call to report the incident.

“I just had a male jump on my vehicle and broke my windshield. I just shot him. I am a deputy sheriff,” Hash said during the 911 call.

Hash was placed on paid administrative leave Monday pending an internal investigation, Sheriff Ennis Wright said.

While the three videos total a little under five minutes in length, the city said it is petitioning the court for permission to release all video from the scene, about 20 hours in all, the city’s corporate communications director Jodi Phelps said in a statement.

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The videos first have to be redacted to protect private information that the people interviewed provided to officers, such as social security numbers, she said.

Police Chief Gina Hawkins has previously said she wants all of the video made public in the interest of government transparency.

Since Sunday, the shooting has ignited daily protests in Fayetteville as demonstrators demand police accountability and the release of the footage. Protesters have decried that the fact that Hash was not arrested and that he did not offer aid to Walker following the shooting.

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