Durham County

No charges for security guard who killed NCCU student last year, Durham DA decides

Durham police have identified a man found fatally shot in Durham on Sept 18, 2018, as DeAndre Marquise Ballard, 23, a student at N.C. Central University.
Durham police have identified a man found fatally shot in Durham on Sept 18, 2018, as DeAndre Marquise Ballard, 23, a student at N.C. Central University. NCCU

A private security guard who shot and killed an N.C. Central University student last year will not face charges, a spokeswoman for Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry says.

“The Durham Police Department determined last year that charges were not warranted in this case,” Sarah Willets said Friday in an email statement. “The previous district attorney, who left office in December, agreed with that determination.

“Upon taking office, DA Deberry took the extra step of requesting a presentation on the evidence in the case to ensure she agreed with the decision of her predecessor and found no evidence to support a homicide charge.”

Deberry met with Durham police investigators Feb. 28 about DeAndre Ballard’s death, according to Willets. Deberry also has been in contact with his mother both before and after that presentation, Willets said.

Ballard’s family questioned Deberry’s decision not to file charges.

“It’s definitely concerning,” said Miguel Staton, Ballard’s uncle. “It was just a poorly handled investigation by the Durham Police Department.”

Ballard, 23, died Sept. 17 after being shot multiple times by a security guard at an off-campus apartment complex.

In March, Ernisha Ballard, who lives in Charlotte, said the last time she spoke with someone from the Durham Police Department was just after she learned about her son’s death, The Herald-Sun previously reported. “I haven’t heard anything from anybody,” she said at the time.

An effort to reach Enisha Ballard through Staton on Friday was unsuccessful.

Dozens of N.C. Central University students walked out of class Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, in protest following the Sept. 17 fatal shooting of DeAndre Ballard by a security guard at an off-campus apartment complex.

Claim of self defense

Ballard was shot by an N.C. Detective Agency security guard contracted by Campus Crossings. A representative of the agency said the security guard shot Ballard in self-defense, The Herald-Sun previously reported.

The security guard told police that while he was making rounds, he noticed what appeared to be a man trying to get in a silver sedan, according to search warrants.

The guard said he shouted at the man, who later was identified as Ballard, and he came over and got in guard’s car, according to the warrant. An altercation followed, and the guard got out his car.

Ballard then slid over to the driver’s side and tried to start the car, the guard told police.

Ballard subsequently “exited the vehicle and proceeded to put his hands on him immediately making him fear that the male was trying to hurt him,” the warrant says.

“This feeling caused (the guard) to draw his gun while asking the male what was wrong with him, and also pled with him,” the guard told police.

The guard “ultimately discharged the firearm,” wounding Ballard in the chest.

A second guard said he heard the first security guard pleading with the man, “while appearing to be overpowered for his gun and sounding unusually fearful,” the warrant says.

Investigators say the second guard told them he began to run toward the situation when he heard a gunshot and saw the man drop to the pavement, the warrant says.

Both guards called 911.

The second guard told the dispatcher a man was shot after he tried to grab a security guard’s gun.

One minute later, the first guard told the dispatcher he had just shot a man who jumped in his car.

Ballard was taken to the hospital where he later died, police say.

It took police three days to identify Ballard because he didn’t have identification on him, a police spokeswoman has said.

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Joe Johnson is a reporter covering breaking stories for The News & Observer. He most recently covered towns in western Wake County and Chatham County. Before that, he covered high school sports for The Herald-Sun.