A teenager accused of robbing a student of two new Playstation 3s on the day the popular game consoles were introduced was shot to death by police sent to arrest him.
Peyton Strickland, 18, was killed Friday at a house he shared with three roommates, New Hanover County Sheriff Sid Causey said.
“If this boy would’ve come to the door, opened the door, we probably wouldn’t be talking,” the sheriff said Sunday.
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.
Authorities promised Monday to fully investigate the fatal shooting. “No one is above the law and no one is beneath its protection,” District Attorney Ben David said. He declined to discuss details of the case.
The State Bureau of Investigation is examining the case and three deputies on the team were placed on paid leave, normal practice whenever officers fire their weapons, Causey said.
Arrest warrants alleged that Strickland, a student at Cape Fear Community College, and a University of North Carolina-Wilmington student stole two PlayStation units from another UNC-Wilmington student that day.
The sheriff said the robbery victim had waited three days in line to buy two Playstation 3 units for $641 each at a Wal-Mart. He was unloading the units at his campus apartment when one man beat him to the ground while another took the PlayStations, Causey said.
The sheriff said Strickland was shot by members of a a special police unit who went to help university officers serve warrants. He would not say why the special team was assisting.
Strickland’s dog, a German shepherd, also was shot to death.
The second man named in the warrants was arrested at another address and was released on bail on Saturday, authorities said.
The nationwide introduction of the Sony game system on Nov. 17 was marked by rowdy crowds and store stampedes. One buyer waiting in line at a Connecticut store was shot by armed robbers.