FIRST ON 3: UNCW settles case with family of 2006 shooting victim


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Submitted: Fri, 03/22/2013 - 2:08am
Updated: Fri, 03/22/2013 - 5:12pm
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — UNCW has reached a settlement with the family of a college student shot and killed by a New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputy more than six years ago, according to a news release on the school’s website.

Peyton Strickland died when deputies served a warrant for UNCW Police at his Wilmington home December 1, 2006. At the time of his death, Strickland, 18, was a student at Cape Fear Community College. The sheriff’s Emergency Response Team was trying to serve him a warrant in connection to the theft of a Playstation 3 video game console from a UNCW student.

According to a settlement filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission and attached to the news release, earlier this month, the state agreed to pay Strickland’s estate $150,000. According to the release, the university will also establish a $100,000 fund for UNCW to use toward accrediting UNCW Police Officers.

UNCW also agreed to release an agreed-upon statement regarding the settlement. In the statement, “the University acknowledges that Peyton was a young man of good character with no criminal record. By all accounts, Peyton was a local college student in good standing, a friend to many, and a talented young industrial artist.” It also concedes that at the time of his death, Strickland was unarmed and did nothing to provoke the shooting.

As part of the settlement, Strickland’s estate agrees to drop all other claims against the state, UNCW, UNCW Police Department and several individuals.

In February 2008, the Sheriff’s Office settled with Strickland’s family for $2.45 million. The family has funded a charitable foundation in Strickland’s name with the money.

Eight months after the shooting, a grand jury decided not to indict former deputy Chris Long, who investigators say fired the shot that killed Strickland. Long said he mistook the sound of a battering ram hitting the front door of the house as the sound of gunfire, leading him to shoot his gun.

39 Comments

  • Guestgladimgone says:

    They have created a culture of absolute impunity, with the eager assistance of the courts, at every level, judges and prosecutors included. People forget that the judiciary and the executive (NHSD) were supposed to be adversarial, and the benefit of the doubt was supposed to be on the side of the citizen facing charges, but they now work hand in glove in furtherance of tyranny.

  • Guest2020 says:

    From what I have read of the case, Peyton made a choice, not a decision. What Deputy Long did was a mistake.

  • Guest'nheimer says:

    I never said nobody, including myself didn’t make mistakes. I simply clarified what a mistake IS and what a mistake ISN’T. The DECISIONS Peyton cognitively made IS what casued him and his family his demise, NOT a mistake of any sort!

    Thank you for STEALING my handle, you ignorant dolt!

  • Das Weibstück says:

    Poor old Guesttenheimer. Too funny !! Way to go, perfect avatar too.

  • Guesttenheimer says:

    Now Baby Deddie can go out and get a new BMW to show the boys at the firm (at the taxpayers expense!). I have more respect for the woman that won the McDonalds lawsuit for spilling her own coffee in her lap than this thugs parents!

  • Guest270 says:

    I cannnot remember ever hearing if it was proved that he had anything to do with the theft of the playstation or if he didn’t. I followed this case at the time but I cannnot remember. Can anyone else shed any light on that?

  • Guest1 says:

    Both of you are pathetic. Even if he had made some mistakes, is that any reason for a 19 year old to die?

  • Guest7969 says:

    its not. HOWEVER, had Peyton not beaten someone for a game console…he would be ALIVE today! HE decided to be a criminal, HE decided to beat someone over a game console…He was HARDLY a good kid if he felt it was OK to partake in that behavior!

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    He set in motion all the events that led to his death. He owned it in the end huh?

  • Guesttenheimer says:

    A “mistake” is putting your undies on backwards and buttoning your shirt crooked because you dress in the dark. A “mistake” is tripping while acsending a flight of stairs with both hands in your pockets. A “mistake” is handing a clerk a ten dollar bill instead of a one. A “mistake” is leaving a pot of boiling eggs on high while you go to the grocery store. A “real mistake” is a very nervous stomach with a bathroom a mile away.

    Peyton didn’t make a “mistake”, no “mistake” by any means of the imagination. Peyton made a very, very BAD, yet very congnitive decision!!! A big part of life involves making decisions and being accountable for them. These decisions can save your life…or take it away!!!

    Are you beginning to hear that “clicking” sound yet?

  • PeytonsFriends says:

    His parents are wonderful people. Peyton was a great young man, full of life, enthusiasm, and compassion. All you haters could not be more wrong. This settlement was not about money. It was about righting the wrongs by UNCW and the police department. When police kill an unarmed man, they campaign to defame the character of the victim and they often get the local government and news to back them. The way Peyton was portrayed immediately after he was murdered was done so to try and protect the ‘licensed to kill’ squad that accidentally killed him. Media can be influenced and biased. Weird right? You all obviously know nothing about Peyton. He would have done more good things for this world than any of you who choose to make insensitive and crude comments from an uneducated distance. Get a life and learn to respect the valuable lives of others.

  • Das Weibstück says:

    Her son is dead, killed through his door by overzealous police. I think she would rather have him than a new car. That could have been anyone’s son, one just visiting them that night, a total innocent. The cops screwed up.

    BTW do you know the complete details of the McDonalds scalding? That lawsuit was warranted, but you wouldn’t care about that.

  • guesty says:

    You are the pathetic one if you think criminal activity is a ‘mistake’ when it is a choice. A choice he made and the repercussions that came with that choice including bringing the police to his door.

  • Guesttenheimer says:

    …that we all believe was BS! And it WAS’NT “…anyone’s son, a total innocent.”, by any means of the imagination, it was the perp himself. The police were accurately hot on the trail of a criminal! No “cooda-woodas” here, they were right on the mark! At least they got the right one firing through the door!

  • Guesttenheimer says:

    Like the one you made.

  • Guest270 says:

    After doing a bit more looking through the news archives I see that Peyton was involved. While this does not necessarily make him a “bad person” he did commit a crime. Therefore some response was warranted. I agree that the Sheriff’s department over did it with the swat team. Perhaps a few detectives knocking on the door would have been a more appropriate for the circumstances.
    With that being said, I don’t think you can condemn the media or law enforcement for the information released. Peyton did not deserve the fate that befell him but he was not innocent. The statements that his family has forced UNCW to make seem to not be entirely truthful and in my thinking are wrong. I just don’t see any good coming out of this whole situation from start to now and imagine that this latest part of the saga will probably just fan bitterness.
    Perhaps both the media and everyone else can just let this whole episode fade from memory and those that cherish Peyton’s memory can then remember him how they wish without outside opinion.

  • guesty says:

    Nice avatar.

  • windy says:

    …. that when the kid saw the police at the door, he did not answer. Rather, he turned around and retreated into the house. How was the police not to know that he wasn’t grabbing for a weapon? Clearly he wasn’t about to cooperate with the police, and who knows what he would have done if given the opportunity. If he was such a good honest law-abiding boy, he would have opened the door when the police knocked. End of story.

  • Brian says:

    When I came to the word ‘yaw’ in your post which I assume was supposed to be ‘ya’ll’, I stopped reading. Using southern slang in written communication is bad enough, and may be able to be overlooked. However, if you can’t be bothered to take the time to educate yourself on the proper use and spelling of southern slang, then how can we be sure that you actually know what you’re talking about when it comes to the facts of the matter?

  • B M says:

    I want to remind yaw that the kid was murdered thru the window in the front door, he had no weapons on him or in the house, he did not even have any stolen property in the house, now let’s talk a little about the officer that murdered him, what has come of this? Was this the first time the officer had shot anyone? did the officer get fired and punished or did he resign and still eligible to work LE? They, the police could have waited and taken him into custody anytime they chose without executed him, what did the cop think he was going to do, flush the playstation down the toilet, the kid didn’t even know they were looking for him, I do not like a thief and would as soon seen him shot by the property owner himself, but I do not believe it is right to shoot an unarmed individual thru a window for an adrenaline rush.

  • Brian says:

    We as taxpayers should push for a law that requires any monies paid out as part of a legal settlement be put to a public vote. If the public votes yes on the settlement, then it should be validated. If the public votes no, then the matter should go to trial.

  • Guest123 says:

    robbedofplaystation is hardly equal to being shot through a door while trying walking over to open it. I would agree with you Guestsara if the result wasn’t such an a egregious overreaction and lack of control by the Sheriff’s office and complete disregard to protocols and due process.

    The kid lost his life. For simply trying to answer the door. With a swat team on the other side. With so little self control they shot through the door before busting it down.

    Just think about what you wrote again and the facts of this case. Criminal or not, this is unconscionable to me if it happened to my son.

  • jj says:

    @Guestsara,

    I agree with you 100%. If the punk had not robbed someone the police would not have been at the door. If he would have open the door when the police knocked the accident would not have happen.

    It is a shame so many peoples lives have been screwed up by the poor judgement of this kid. I am sure if this accident had not happen this kids would end up killing someone.

  • Guestsara says:

    REALLY???? I remember this case very fondly. That deputy was put though H**L because this boy’s family could not accept that their son was a criminal. HE ROBBED ANOTHER KID!!!…HE PLANNED OUT THE ROBBERY!!! What a slap in the face to the kid he robbed. I have no pity for this family, or the son they lost. They are not the victims here. This is outrageous!

  • Brandy LeAnn says:

    “Sara” you are pathetic!!! You need to grow up, you should be ashamed of what you said. Karma will hit you in the face one day for what you said. No, it wasn’t the right thing to do to steal another person’s property but he surely didn’t deserve to be murdered!!

  • guesty says:

    He was nothing more than a punk thug. In addition to the trouble he got in here in Wilmington, he had trouble in his home town. He tried livin’ da thug life and it cost him.

  • captain obvious says:

    Peyton was a young man of good character? Really? I guess my memory is going fast. The “Larceny” of the video game was actually a brutal assault where Payton and several other predators followed a young man home after he purchased the game, ambushed that man, and beat him to a pulp. All for a video game. Paytons “Gansta” facebook picture with guns and rifles prompted the tactical warrant service. One less gremlin to worry about I say…

  • SouthEastNC says:

    “the University acknowledges that Peyton was a young man of good character with no criminal record.”

    Because he passed away before they were able to arrest him for larceny and possibly assault?

    I’m not one to speak ill of a dead kid – God knows I did dumb stuff I regret – but this press release reads like something the Iraqi Information Minister would’ve written.

  • Peyton's Friend says:

    Peyton was a warm-spirited kid that was growing up just like all of us did. His family loved and cared for him and raised him well. We all learn our lessons in life, just as Peyton was learning his as he was becoming a man. His life was tragically, and mistakenly ended way too soon. Have a heart, and refrain from making crude and insensitive comments about a sad story and a wonderful kid that you all obviously never knew a thing about. You have to remember that when his story initially came out, the police and media were campaigning to make Peyton look bad so that an 18 year old unarmed kid’s blood on their hands didn’t look so bad. News coverage can be biased and politically influenced. Shocker right? The public statements made by the police department and UNCW recently are not being made just for the sake of it. They are publicly coming forward to right their wrongs and to educate the public on who Peyton really was. He was never a thug. He was one of the best people that I will ever know. He loved and cared for everyone around him and brought joy and excitement into all our lives. His life was ended early and you should refrain from hating on him. You did not know him.

  • windsnake69 says:

    What was such a wonderful, warm-hearted, fabulous kid doing with a stolen Playstation in the first place?

  • SouthEastNC says:

    jump somebody for a videogame?

  • Grand Ole Party says:

    He didn’t bring joy and excitement into the life of the person he stole from. Shocker right?

  • Richard P. says:

    Windy, go back and read the facts. The teenager was coming to answer the door when he was murdered by the punk-with-a-badge who shot him through a glass into his face with a .45 cal automatic rifle. Then they killed his dog. The punk said he fired because the sound of a police battering ram busting in the back door startled him. By the way the SBI determined that both doors were unlocked, and all the punks had to do was open them, but that’s what punks do, no?
    Also, please show me where it says anyone has to answer their door when police knock. The real end of story.

  • Jay Trehy says:

    UNCW was sued for providing wholly false information to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Department, thereby initiating the whole debacle that ended in Peyton’s needless death. The Strickland family sought to clear their son’s name, and UNCW and its defense team responded by fully investigating the truth about Peyton. The end result of UNCW’s investigation is reflected in UNCW’s issued apology and public statement about Peyton’s good character and other, treasured qualities.
    People will believe what they want to believe, and some feel the need to post ugly statements that only reflect their own, rotting, hate-filled lives.
    If ignorance is bliss, some who posted must be ecstatic.

  • Guest350 says:

    Sure, Peyton made a big mistake, but he would have paid for that at a later time. He certainly did not deserve the death penalty by some idiot that could not tell the difference between a door being knocked down and a gunshot. Why was it necessary to knock the door in? He was coming to answer it. Nothing but a bunch of over zealous thugs in uniform.

  • guesty says:

    Committing crimes isn’t a mistake, it is an active choice. Not paying attention and filling your gas powered car with diesel is a mistake. Leaving the house without an umbrella on a rainy day is a mistake. Peyton committed robbery, he had a pending assault charge on from another incident as well as pending witness intimidation charge from the assault event. That doesn’t even go into the crimes he committed in his hometown.

  • B M says:

    Brian, the only time you should assume is the “position”, I spelt yaw, “yaw” because that is what I meant, now not to deflect on the story, incidents like this can not be allowed to go on, next time they shoot an unarmed citizen through the door it might be your kid, or brother, or dad, and I got a pretty good handle on what went down.

  • anne says:

    Please B.M. – tell me what yaw is!

    By the way, a mistake is adding 2+2 and getting 5. Stealing someone’s property is not a mistake – it is deliberate theft. Did it warrant this young man getting killed? Probably not. There was some bad decisions made that night – he started it and the cop finished it.

    As time goes on, maybe the whole story will come out – I serious doubt it. But the parents will still not have their son and though I think the money was extreme, it in no way makes up for the son being gone.

  • Brandy LeAnne says:

    @ Guestsara….YOU are a cold hearted bit@$… You must be related to the evil officer that took this kids life to be so hateful with your words. So what if he stole a play station… I guess you have never done anything wrong your whole life? You should watch what you say because one day you will face a situation that you can’t control or you or your loved one could end up murdered and see what people could say. Karma will slap you in your face for such hurtful words you said!! Your tongue is a powerful object!!!

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