Cameron, North Carolina –A Harnett County Sheriff’s Deputy fatally shot a man early Thursday morning as he walked along NC Highway 27 in the community of Johnsonville.
Family members said Curtis Young, 40, of Cameron, suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. According to the sheriff’s office, family members called to report a man with a gun was walking along the highway suffering from an episode of mental illness.
His daughter, Jasmine Young, said she heard a gunshot and then tried to notify law enforcement that her father was unwell.
“We started chasing him down the road so he wouldn’t do what he did,” Jasmine Young said. “We said [authorities] that he had a gun and was mentally ill, so they didn’t shoot him immediately.
After Curtis Young pointed his gun at deputies, one of them fired. He was pronounced dead at Womack Hospital.
Sheriff Wayne Coats was at the scene and told WRAL News: ‘You don’t want these things to happen…but something triggered this…we need to keep this family in prayer and the officers in prayer. is just a bad situation.”
According to Coats, deputies performed CPR on the man while waiting for medical responders.
The two deputies who responded to the call were placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in a shooting involving an officer. The deputies were not injured.
The SBI is investigating.
Family and friends remember Curtis Young
“He was a wonderful person,” Jasmine Young said of her father. “[He was] very smart and witty. He was always there for you when you needed him.
Danielle Harding, Curtis Young’s best friend, remembered what he was, calling him “a father figure”.
“[I considered] that he’s a dynamic, eclectic person who would love to talk, would love to give a good conversation,” Harding said of Curtis Young.
Jasmine Young said her father was an avid gardener.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do without him,” she said. “He was the person to go to if there was a problem.”
Danielle Harding shared similar sentiments.
“It’s a numbing feeling,” Harding said. “Here, in a few days, it’s going to be, ‘Oh, he’s really gone.'”
Young’s family said he was not a veteran, but they said he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.
Jasmine Young opened up about what her interactions with her dad were like before Thursday morning.
“I don’t know what cracked him up, it was all fun,” Jasmine Young said. “He said he loved me more than usual. [I was] get a weird vibe from him.
Harding said he spoke with Curtis Young around 5 p.m. Wednesday.
“He was not doing good for [the] most of the time and he took care of certain things,” Harding said.
Harding explained the impact Curtis Young had on her.
“Curtis Young is the most motivating person in my life,” Harding said.
Other shootings involving a Harnett County deputy
Since 2015, WRAL News has reported on several shooting cases involving Harnett County deputies:
WRAL Investigates also discovered in June 2021 that the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office insurer had agreed to a $6 million settlement with six families who accused the office of excessive force.