Tears flow at vigil for Fayetteville teen killed by police

Tears flow at vigil for Fayetteville teen killed by police

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

Family and friends of a 16-year-old boy who was shot and killed by a Fayetteville police officer said they're turning to their faith for answers. 

The family of Shaqur McNair hosted a candlelight vigil on Tuesday night outside their Fayetteville home.  That's where an officer shot and killed McNair on Oct. 13.

A pastor led the group of about 100 people in prayer.  Others sang songs all while McNair's siblings and mother cried.

"We're about peace.  We're about love and this is what Shakur is," McNair's grandmother, Myra Smith said.

The grieving comes as questions remains about his final moments alive.

"If he was a bad child, then I really don't think all these people would be here shedding tears for him," McNair's aunt, Carmen Hicks said.

Those at the vigil say they don't believe police reports that McNair flashed a stolen handgun as he approached a Fayetteville police officer on Sunday night.

"He never carried any weapon on him. Never," McNair's best friend Tyrell Camlin said.

Police said McNair had a stolen 9mm semi-automatic handgun in his possession at the time he was shot Sunday. Police said Monday that the gun had been reported stolen out of South Carolina in February 2012.

Officer Christopher Hunt, 27, responded to a domestic dispute call at a home on Bertram Place around 6 p.m. Hunt was actually the second officer to respond, but he arrived at the home alone because the first officer was meeting the initial caller in a different location.

Hunt arrested the older son of Alfricka Bennett, who was accused of assaulting his baby's mother. Police chief Harold Medlock said Bennett struck the officer in the head.

Medlock said Bennett, 39, then ran from Hunt as he tried to arrest her for assault and wound up in a scuffle on the ground.

Neighbor Jihya Nesmith said Bennett ran into his front yard.

"I saw her trip over my flower bed there in the front yard. When she tripped the cop told her to get down, and that's when Shaqur, Shaqur's little sister, and Shaqur's little brother tried to run up on the cop to protect their mamma," Nesmith said.

Medlock said during that time, several people who were in the yard gathered around Hunt and the woman.

They backed away when Hunt told them to move back, with the exception of McNair, Medlock said.

Medlock said McNair didn't back off when Hunt told him to stay back.

"The young man pulled his shirt up with his left hand. There was a handgun in the waistband. The young man began to draw that handgun out. Officer Hunt fired at least three rounds," Medlock said on Monday.

McNair died at the hospital.  Loved ones said they're dealing with the tragedy as best they can.

"I'm dealing with it," Hicks said, "I look at it like…it was just his time because I'm a Christian and I know that God…the day that you come into this world, the day is already set when you're going to leave."

"It's a tragedy," McNair's grandmother Myra Smith said, "but at the same time God has it all in control and if we don't look to heaven for the Lord, there is no answer."

The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the case.  Meanwhile, Chief Medlock has issued a directive to his officers, telling them not to respond to domestic calls alone.

WNCN has also learned police were no stranger to that home.  At least 20 911 calls had been placed in the last year, including 11 on Sunday night alone, though at least six of them appear to have been made after the officer-involved shooting.  Officer Hunt remains on administrative leave.

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