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Off-duty deputy in North Carolina says on 911 call he fatally shot pedestrian who jumped on his truck

Veteran Cumberland County Sheriff’s Lt. Jeffrey Hash is on leave. Authorities say he fatally shot Jason Walker, 37, when Walker jumped on his pickup.

An off-duty sheriff’s deputy in North Carolina who fatally shot a man Saturday said during a 911 call that he fired a gun after the man ran into the road and jumped onto the hood of his pickup truck.

“A male jumped on my vehicle and broke my windshield. I just shot him,” the deputy, Lt. Jeffrey Hash, says in the 911 call, which was released Tuesday by the Fayetteville Police Department and heard by NBC News. When the dispatcher asks Hash to identify himself, he says, “I’m a lieutenant with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.”

Asked whether the wounded man is breathing, Hash says: “He’s gone, ma’am. ... No, ma’am, he is not. He’s gone.”

The sheriff’s office said Monday that Hash, who has been with the department since 2005, has been placed on administrative leave. The sheriff’s office clarified Tuesday that he is on paid leave, without specifying whether such leave is standard under similar circumstances.

Fayetteville police identified the man killed in the shooting, which occurred at 2:18 p.m., as Jason Walker, 37.

Demonstrators march to demand justice for Jason Walker on Jan. 9, 2022, in Fayetteville, N.C.
Demonstrators march to demand justice for Jason Walker on Jan. 9, 2022, in Fayetteville, N.C.Andrew Craft / The Fayetteville Observer via USA Today Network

“The preliminary investigation has revealed an adult male ran into traffic and jumped on a moving vehicle. ... The male subject was pronounced dead on scene,” police said.

In other parts of the 911 call, Hash tells the dispatcher that his daughter and his wife were with him when the man, who was screaming, jumped onto the hood and broke the pickup’s windshield wipers.

Hash also tells the dispatcher that a crowd is gathering. He describes the crowd as “hostile.”

Hash also says a trauma nurse is with him. The call ends when police arrive and Hash asks whether he can speak to them.

The shooting has prompted consecutive days of protests this week in Fayetteville, NBC affiliate WRAL of Raleigh reported. Protesters have been calling for the arrest of Hash, who is white. Walker was Black.

Hash could not be reached for comment Tuesday. His lawyer, Parrish Daughtry, said: “He is devastated for the family of Mr. Walker. For his family. For his community.”

Walker’s mother declined to comment Tuesday.

The high-profile civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump said in a statement Tuesday that he is representing Walker’s family.

Crump’s office will be committed to “finding answers to what happened to him when he was senselessly shot and killed by off-duty deputy Jeffrey Hash,” he said.

Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins said at a news conference Sunday that the investigation had been turned over to the State Bureau of Investigation.

Police investigated rumors that Hash’s vehicle struck Walker before the fatal shooting, Hawkins said. Forensic data were collected from the pickup during a preliminary investigation, Hawkins said.

“That computer did not record any impact with any person or thing,” she said.

Hawkins referred to a video, recorded by a bystander and posted to social media, that showed the aftermath of the deadly encounter, including Walker as he lay on the street by the driver’s side rear tire of Hash’s Ford F-150. The video shows a woman trying to render medical assistance.

Hawkins said at the news conference that investigators were looking for witnesses and referred to how police do not know what preceded the video. She said any witnesses should come forward and speak to the State Bureau of Investigation.

Hawkins also said police interviewed Hash, who she said used a gun that was not his service weapon. 

Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West said at the news conference that his office was deferring any potential prosecution to an independent prosecutor.

The State Bureau of Investigation said in a statement that it would not comment during an ongoing investigation. It said its complete case file will be turned over to the prosecutor overseeing the case.

A spokesperson for the FBI in Charlotte said the agency is monitoring the investigation.

“If, in the course of the North Carolina SBI investigation, information comes to light of a potential federal violation, the FBI is prepared to investigate,” the spokesperson said.