A 33-year-old father of three was killed by deputies in North Carolina who mistakenly raided his home while looking for an assault suspect.
The altercation began after Livingston asked the deputies if they had a search warrant when they tried to enter his trailer home. When they said no, Livingston told them, “not without a search warrant,” and closed the door, witnesses told WNCN. The deputies then kicked down the door and entered the trailer.
The sheriff’s office has only said a “confrontation with an individual resulted in a shooting.” They added that the shooting occurred at about 3:40 a.m.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Livingston Was Shot Multiple Times While Lying on the Deck Outside of His Trailer
Witnesses say the assault suspect police were looking for no longer lives at the trailer Livingston shares with his roommate, Clayton Conner. His roommate said Livingston asked the deputies if they had a warrant to enter the house. After they said no, he closed the door, Conner told WNCN. The officers then kicked down the door and jumped on Livingston, beating him and spraying him with mace, according to Conner.
As the altercation moved to the deck outside of the trailer, Conner says police began to user a Taser on Livingston. At one point, Livingston grabbed the Taser to try and stop it from stunning him, and one of the officers, Deputy Nicholas Kehegias, opened fire.
“He barely had the Taser in his hand but he had it where it was constantly going off and the officer I guess that spoke to him rolled over there, says he got the Taser and shot him in this position,” Carroll told the news station.
Livingston was shot at least four times, WNCN reports. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said a deputy suffered minor injuries.
2. ‘Wrong Guy, Wrong House, Wrong Everything’
While police called Livingston a suspect in press releases, neighbors and friends say they weren’t looking for Livingston and the deputies should have stopped when they realized they didn’t have the right guy.
“They shot the wrong guy for the wrong thing,” neighbor George Thomas told the Fayetteville Observer. “Wrong guy. Wrong house. Wrong everything.”
Police did not provide details of the shooting to Livingston’s family.
“They just said there was an altercation between John Livingston and the Harnett County sheriff’s (deputies),” Libby Lovings, whose daughter is the mother of Livingston’s children, told the Observer. “They didn’t provide any details. Just said there was an altercation and that John Livingston was no longer with us. And I think he probably got a little mouthy. Do you really need to use all that kind of force? They supposedly dragged him out by the beard, started beating him, then pepper sprayed him and used a Taser gun on him, and then shot him.”
3. His Friends Called Him a Hard Worker & Talented Carpenter Who Loved His 3 Children
Livingston, originally from West Virginia, was a carpenter, his family and friends said. He was in a relationship with Jessika Cardwell since they were 16 and they had three children together, 14-year-old John Livingston III, 11-year-old Kandis and 8-year-old Cameron, she told the Fayetteville Observer.
“He was the greatest father you could imagine,” Cardwell told the newspaper. “So kind-hearted. All the kids around here loved him. John had the best personality. Where he went, he would light up the party.”
His roommate, Clayton Conner, and other friends told WNCN Livingston was a hard worker and very loving. He was a talented carpenter. A few months ago he built the deck where he was killed, Conner said.
4. The Deputy Who Shot Livingston Has Been on the Job Since 2013
Deputy Nicholas Kehegias, who shot Livingston, has been placed on administrative leave, per department procedure.
Kehegias, who is assigned to the patrol division, has been with the sheriff’s office since 2013. He graduated from Central Carolina Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training program in May of that year, according to a press release on the college’s website.
He was the fastest officer in the physical abilities test and had the highest state exam average out of his seven-member class. He was the class leader and gave a speech at the graduation ceremony.
According to the press release, the cadets completed 624 hours of law enforcement training in areas including criminal and motor vehicle laws, vehicle stops, first responder care, firearms training, driver’s training, sheriff’s duties and subject control/arrest techniques. They were required to pass 35 blocks of instruction, a 12-week physical training program and a four-hour written state exam to become certified law enforcement officers in North Carolina.
5. The Shooting Investigation Should Take a Week or Less
The shooting is being investigated by the North Carolina State Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The investigators declined to provide any further details about the case.
They are waiting for the the autopsy report, ballistic and lab results. After the investigation is completed, it will be up to the Harnett County District Attorney’s office as to whether the deputy will face charges.
Livingston’s family also said they plan to speak to an attorney and could bring a civil lawsuit against Kehegias and the sheriff’s office.
The investigation should be completed in about a week or less, a SBI spokesperson told the Fayetteville Observer.