Photo Credit/ Antony Nganga ,Campus Echo
On the campus of North Carolina Central University on Oct. 1, many students protested by walking out of class in response to the death of DeAndre Ballard who was shot and killed by a security guard at an off-campus apartment on Sep. 17.
According to multiple reports, the security guard allegedly caught Ballard attempting to break into cars at the Campus Crossing apartment complex parking lot.
According to Durham police, the guard says he shot Ballard in self-defense after Ballard initiated contact with the guard and reached for his weapon.
“He was a good friend, He never caused any conflict or problems with anyone. I don’t see as to why this situation occurred. But the main thing is we just really want the truth,” said NCCU student Johnathan Smith.
According to other close friends and family of the late college student, they said that the story doesn’t match up with who Ballard was as a person.
The 23-year-old senior was on track to graduate next year.
“The thing I am trying to get the university to focus on is the fact that students don’t feel comfortable, students don’t feel safe, students don’t feel like they are truly supported,” said junior Jamielyn Riggin.
In response to the tragic event there was a walkout led by Riggin along with the protest downtown held by dozens of students.
The Root reports that it took three days to identify Ballard’s body because his family who was unaware that he had been shot and killed filed a missing persons report. DeAndre’s mother, Ernisha Ballard said her son left his keys and identification in his room, and one of his shoes propped his door open signaling he intended to step out for just a moment.
The NCCU police department states that they have no jurisdiction or connection with the Campus Crossings apartment complex nor with the security officer involved in the incident.
“It definitely leaves us dumbfounded. We would think 16 days would be more than enough time for police department to complete an investigation” said Miguel Staten, Ballard’s uncle. “We want to put his name out there so people don’t forget about it and just sweep it under the rug.”
“I feel like we know that our students are there, and there should be some sort of empathy toward that situation,” said SGA president Davanta Parker in response to the Herald Sun when asked about her thoughts on the incident.