Crime & Courts

Police still investigating fatal Charlotte shooting

Stephen Sellers
Stephen Sellers LinkedIn

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police continue to investigate the fatal shooting of a man on Pegram Street just east of uptown June 30.

After the investigation is complete, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office will review the findings to determine whether charges are warranted, office spokeswoman Meghan Cooke said Friday.

Lawyer Stephen Sellers was coming to the defense of a woman outside his home when he shot and killed Degarrian Santonia Coleman, whom he didn’t know, Sellers’ attorney, George Laughrun, has said.

Sellers is a former Mecklenburg County assistant district attorney who is in private practice.

Laughrun said Sellers told the stranger, “Don’t shoot. Drop your gun,” before Coleman turned and pointed a gun at Sellers and Sellers fired in self-defense.

Police said Coleman was riding in a car with his grandmother on Pegram Street when he shot the woman in her lower right leg. The vehicle crashed into a telephone pole. Coleman began arguing with his grandmother and shooting at her when they left the vehicle, police said.

Laughrun said his client saw what was happening and walked out of his house. He saw the woman “cowering down between two cars” and ordered the gunman to drop the weapon, Laughrun said. The man did not comply, the lawyer said, and “turned and pointed the gun right at Steve.”

“‘I can’t believe I had to take someone’s life,’” Laughrun said Sellers told him.

But the grandmother, Patricia Crawford, told WBTV, the Observer’s news partner, that Sellers never said a word before shooting her grandson.

Police did not say whether words were exchanged between Coleman and Sellers before the fatal shooting.

In a statement the week of the shooting, the D.A.’s office said its review, “which will be done in the same manner as any review of a fatal incident, will be done only with the consideration of the evidence and the law and without any regard to Mr. Sellers’ past employment.”

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Twitter: @jmarusak