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WASHINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A white North Carolina police officer fatally shot a black motorist who stepped out of his vehicle with a gun during a traffic stop, authorities said Monday.
The shooting happened Sunday afternoon, Stacy Drakeford, director of Washington police and fire services, said in a statement.
Drakeford said after the car was stopped, the driver got out of his vehicle with a gun. The officer then shot the man, who was identified as Cedric Pritchard of Washington.
Drakeford said by phone that Pritchard was black, and the officer involved was a white man. Drakeford didn't immediately respond to an email later in the day asking if Pritchard made any gestures with the gun.
Teresa Pritchard told WITN-TV in Greenville that her son's death was "a hard pill to swallow."
"I'm looking for him coming through the door anytime and I won't see him. That's going to be hurtful," Teresa Pritchard said.
Natasha Knight said she ran out of her home when she heard the gunshots and told WNCT-TV in Greenville she was overcome by emotion when she found out who had been shot.
"I think all of our eyes filled with water," Knight said.
The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case. The officer, whose name hasn't been released, has been placed on administrative leave.
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