boston.com News your connection to The Boston Globe

N.C. student accused in PlayStation robbery fatally shot by police trying to serve warrant

WILMINGTON, N.C. --A young man accused of robbing a fellow college student of two new Playstation 3 video game consoles was shot and killed -- possibly while holding a game controller, his roommate said -- by officers sent to arrest him.

Peyton Strickland, 18, was killed Friday at a house he shared with three roommates, Sheriff Sid Causey said.

"If this boy would've come to the door, opened the door, we probably wouldn't be talking," the sheriff said Sunday.

Roommate Mike Rhoton said Strickland was unarmed when he got up from playing a Tiger Woods golf game but may have been holding a controller when he went to the door as officers bashed it in. Strickland's dog, a German shepherd, also was shot to death.

The sheriff said Strickland was shot by members of a specially trained team who went to help university officers serve arrest warrants. Causey said officers considered the arrest a high-risk situation.

"Anytime that someone beats a person severely and commits an armed robbery, I certainly would consider him a risk and a danger," Causey said.

Authorities promised Monday to fully investigate the shooting. "No one is above the law and no one is beneath its protection," District Attorney Ben David said. He declined to discuss details of the case.

The State Bureau of Investigation is examining the case and three deputies on the team were placed on paid leave, normal practice whenever officers fire their weapons, Causey said.

Arrest warrants alleged that Strickland, a student at Cape Fear Community College, and a University of North Carolina-Wilmington student stole two PlayStation units from another UNC-Wilmington student Nov. 17, the day the consoles were introduced.

The sheriff said the robbery victim waited three days in line to buy the units for $641 each at a Wal-Mart. He was unloading them at his campus apartment when one man beat him to the ground while another took the consoles, Causey said.

The second man named in the warrants was arrested at another address and released on bail Saturday, authorities said.

The nationwide introduction of the Sony game system was marked by rowdy crowds and store stampedes. One buyer waiting in line at a Connecticut store was shot by robbers.

SEARCH THE ARCHIVES
 
Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months
 Advanced search / Historic Archives