A North Carolina Central University student was found dead after being shot by a security guard off-campus at an apartment complex last week.
According to The Herald Sun, DeAndre Marquise Ballard, 23, was taken to a local hospital where he died after Durham, North Carolina police responded to a call about a gunshot wound on the evening of September 17.
The security guard is an employee of the N.C. Detective Agency. Kevin Ladd, vice president of that company, said the employee acted in self-defense and feared for his life before the shooting.
“We fully, 100 percent stand by his actions because this was self-defense,” said Ladd. “In our eyes this is a tragic accident. It never should have gotten to this, but our officer was fearful for his life.”
Ladd claims the security guard, who is black, was placed on administrative leave for a week and returned to work at a different site.
According to CBS 17, DeAndre's mother, Ernisha Bellard, wasn't told her son had been killed until three days after his passing. His roommates called her to inform her they hadn't seen him for a few days, but it wasn't until she visited local police that she realized he was dead.
Ernisha claims officers told her the security guard saw DeAndre attempting to break into cars. The mother also said the police were told her son attempted to grab the security guard's gun during a tussle with him.
She questions the "self-defense" story, and pushed back against the idea DeAndre would try to grab the guard's weapon, noting her son was "terrified" of guns. The grieving mother also said her son would typically make an effort to befriend or at least be on a speaking basis with security guards for that very reason.
“My son was a lovable person,” said Ernisha. “He was a nice person. He was a genuine person. I don’t think that he would just attack somebody just because.”
Ernisha also asked, “How is it self-defense when my son was unarmed? My son, he’s not even a big person. So, why would you feel that your life was in danger because you thought that my son was going to do something to you? It’s not 100 percent justifiable. I don’t buy it.”
The incident is currently under investigation.
“The well being of our residents is always our top priority and we currently have 24-hour patrol services in place until further notice. We’re fully cooperating with authorities as they continue to investigate,” the apartment complex, Campus Crossings, said in a statement, according to The Herald Sun.
“The case remains under investigation,” police spokeswoman Kammie Michael confirmed on Monday. “No charges have been filed at this time.”
DeAndre was set to graduate with a bachelor of science degree in physical education in May 2019, according to his university's chancellor, Johnson Akinleye.
Now, check these out: