No charges in deadly Durham officer-involved shooting, DA says

La'Vante Biggs

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – No charges will be filed in a Sept. 2015 Durham officer-involved shooting that killed a 21-year-old man, the district attorney confirmed.

Durham District Attorney Roger Echols announced Tuesday he found no probable cause to charge a crime in the shooting death of La’Vante Biggs.

On Sept. 5, 2015 around 10:30 a.m., police were called to 1702 Angier Avenue for “an armed suicidal male,” Durham police said.

Upon arrival, officers reported seeing Biggs pointing a gun under his chin.

Durham police made attempts to get Biggs to drop his weapon. Hostage negotiators arrived later and continued to attempt to get Biggs to drop his weapon.

At one point, the Biggs walked toward officers with the gun either by his side or pointing at himself, Durham police said. He later put the gun down but never walked more than four to six steps away from the weapon. Officers continued to talk to Biggs while the weapon was on the ground.

Later during the standoff, Biggs would retrieve the weapon and pointed it at officers.

At that point, four officers fired a total of 12 rounds at Biggs, striking him five times, Echols said. EMS treated Biggs at the scene within two minutes of the shooting.

He was taken to a hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

It was later discovered that Biggs’ weapon was an Airsoft gun that looked just like a real firearm.

“It (the gun) was identified to be a black plastic airsoft-type pellet gun. However the outer appearances of the gun appear to be visually indistinguishable from a firearm without very close or physical inspection,” Echols said.

The Durham Police Department performed internal criminal and administrative investigations into Biggs’ death. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation also investigated the incident.

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