Vigil for the victim of a shooting in Siler City involving NC soldiers

SILER CITY, NC (WNCN) — Friends held a vigil for Mark Anthony Diaz Tuesday night in Siler City after a stop Monday ended fatally due to a seatbelt injury.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol said Trooper Rodney Cook pulled over Diaz around 4:30 p.m. Monday for a seat belt injury. The Highway Patrol said Diaz showed a pistol and then Cook shot him, killing him.

Tyler Paige said his best friend Diaz was coming over Monday night to hang out. Paige lives less than a quarter mile from where Diaz was shot.

Paige held a vigil outside his home to remember Diaz.

“He really was a brother, we bonded through the anime called One Piece,” Paige said. “Every time I look at it, I think about him and I know I can’t talk to him about it.”

Friends gathered to say goodbye to Diaz with candles, hugs and balloons.

Paige said he has unanswered questions.

“To know what happened, why he shot first, what made him not think about arresting him or whatever else he had to do besides kill him,” he said.

The State Highway Patrol said the soldiers did not have active body cameras. A spokesman for the department told CBS 17 the camera in the officer’s car could capture events related to the shooting.

Both Paige and his sister Taylor, who was also friends with Diaz, want the camera footage to be released.

“We just want to know the truth of what happened from start to finish, just let us know,” she said. “If he did something wrong and that’s how it ended up, then ok, but if that’s wrong someone needs to be fired.”

CBS 17 asked if the State Highway Patrol planned to ask a judge to release the footage to the public. A spokesman said he was not sure if SHP’s listing would be requested for public release or if it could be released through another legal process.

Cook is on administrative duty as per protocol during an internal investigation.

The State Criminal Police Office is also investigating. Vigil for the victim of a shooting in Siler City involving NC soldiers

Dais Johnston

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