Crime & Courts

Prosecutors announce death penalty decision in fatal shooting during uptown protest

Prosecutors announced Thursday that they will not seek the death penalty against Rayquan Borum, the Charlotte man accused of shooting Justin Carr during a September demonstration protesting police violence.

Carr was fatally wounded on Sept. 21 outside the Omni Hotel on East Trade Street. He was amid a throng of people denouncing the police shooting that killed Keith Lamont Scott the day before.

Borum, 21, was arrested two days later and charged with Carr’s death. Prosecutors have said he has admitted to the crime, but few details have been released.

He also faces an array of looting-related charges. The District Attorney’s Office says Borum was caught by surveillance camera less than an hour after the Carr shooting helping loot the nearby Kandy Bar in the Epicentre entertainment venue. Prosecutors say Borum was among a group that smashed their way into the night spot, and that he can be seen in footage climbing over the club’s bar and grabbing liquor.

While he will not face the death penalty, Borum’s first-degree murder charges carries a mandatory life in prison without parole if he is convicted.

Activists who say they witnessed the shooting have called for Borum’s release, saying police firing rubber bullets killed Carr. A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police spokesman says officers on the scene did not use rubber bullets against the uptown demonstrators.

In all more than 100 persons were arrested in the aftermath of the Scott shooting. Dozens have been charged with such crimes as failure to disperse, impeding traffic and curfew violations. Dozens more face more serious charges, including assault, damage to property, looting and hate crimes.

The district attorney’s investigation into Scott’s death continues. Police say Officer Brentley Vinson fired the fatal shots. Both he and Scott are African American.

Police say Scott was shot after refusing multiple demands by officers to put down a gun that authorities say was recovered at the scene. Scott’s family say no gun was involved and that police opened fire on Scott after escalating the confrontation.

The findings by the district attorney’s office are expected to be released next month.

Michael Gordon: 704-358-5095, @MikeGordonOBS