FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WNCN) — A man killed by an off-duty Cumberland County sheriff’s deputy in January was shot four times, including in the head and heart, according to a CBS 17 autopsy Thursday.
Jason Walker, 37, of Fayetteville, was shot and killed after jumping onto the hood of a truck in the middle of Bingham Drive around 2:15 p.m. on Jan. 8, according to a police press release at the time.
The man who shot and killed Walker was later identified as Jeffrey Hash, a deputy for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office who was off-duty at the time of the fatal shooting.
Fayetteville Police said some witnesses told officers who responded to the scene that Walker ran into the street and jumped onto the hood of a red pickup truck before ripping off the wiper and hitting the front window with it.
Bodycam footage released on January 14 shows an officer speaking to a witness who claims Walker, who was lying on the street, is his son.
Anthony Walker told officers he called his son to come back to him across the street.
‘He was out here on Dagone Street and this guy pulled up. He jumped on the guy’s hood and the guy jumped out and shot him,” says Anthony Walker in the video.
The officer asks Anthony Walker if his son suffered from mental health issues and Anthony Walker said: “I don’t know.”
Other police footage from the scene shows another witness telling police she needs something to wipe Walker’s blood off her hands after trying to help him after the shooting.
“I didn’t have gloves or anything and I held the pressure and stuff like that before you all got here,” the witness said in the video.
This witness said she did not see the initial interaction and was initially unsure whether Walker was hit by the deputy’s truck.
“I don’t know if he got in the car or if he actually got hit – I don’t know,” she says.
She then said that Hash was still in his truck when he shot Walker.
“I didn’t see him posing a threat,” she said of Jason Walker.
The witness said Jason Walker was already on the ground when shots rang out.
She later said she believed Walker was hit by the truck, but data from the truck’s “black box” showed Hash’s vehicle did not hit Walker.
The autopsy released by the coroner’s office shows Walker was shot four times with hollow point bullets from a 9mm cannon – once in the head, once in the heart, once in the back and once in the left thigh.
The bullet that hit Walker in the head went through his brain, down his throat and then lodged in his spinal cord, according to the autopsy.
The bullet that hit Walker in the torso entered his lower chest, hitting him in the right ventricle of the heart, then tore through the liver, stomach, pancreas and aorta before lodging on the left side of his back, according to the autopsy.
Walker was pronounced dead at the scene. The manner of death listed in the autopsy is manslaughter due to multiple gunshot wounds.
A toxicology report submitted with the autopsy indicated that Walker was not under the influence of any illegal substance at the time. Caffeine and nicotine have also been identified, as has diphenhydramine, better known as the allergy drug Benadryl.
During a news conference the day after the shooting, Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins said Hash was arrested after the shooting, his statement was taken, and the gun used in the shooting was confiscated by police. Hawkins also stressed that the MP called 911 to report the incident.
Also at the press conference, Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West said his office would not be involved in the case. He has instead asked the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys (NCCDA) to take over prosecution.
West said the decision was made “to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest in this case.”
Hash’s attorney Parrish Daughtry said her defense strategy would include self-defense, defense of others and defense of vehicles.
“He’s devastated. He’s devastated for Mr. Walker’s family. He’s devastated for his community and he’s devastated for his own family,” Daughtry said.
A Campbell University law professor told CBS 17 that there are elements that one must prove in order to win a self-defense claim. These include not being the original attacker, avoidance, and a reasonable belief that such violence is necessary.
The case has been referred to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the NCCDA will determine whether to press charges against Hash.
No charges were filed at this time.
https://www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/cumberland-county-news/fayetteville-man-killed-by-off-duty-deputy-was-shot-in-the-head-heart-back-autopsy/ Fayetteville man killed by off-duty deputy shot in head, heart and back: autopsy