The Charlotte man accused of killing a protester Wednesday during a crowded march in uptown has admitted to the shooting, Assistant District Attorney Clayton Jones said in court Monday.
Police say Rayquan Borum, 21, shot and killed Justin Carr, 26, during the second night of Charlotte protests that erupted over the police killing of Keith Scott on Tuesday outside an apartment in the University City area.
Borum is charged with first degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. In his first court appearance Monday, he did not speak and made no formal plea. He has asked for a public defender to represent his case. Prosecutors said he was not entitled to a bond at this time. Borum’s first court date is Oct. 5, with a preliminary hearing Oct 17.
Carr survived nearly a day before dying Thursday afternoon at Carolinas Medical Center. He was shot in the head, according to a police report.
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The shooting of Carr outside the Omni Hotel marked a turning point in what evolved into a week of protests that drew intense national attention. He was shot about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and within two hours, vandals and looters had struck more than a dozen sites in uptown, prompting Gov. Pat McCrory to declare a state of emergency and summon the National Guard to Charlotte.
Borum was taken into custody around 7 a.m. Friday. He previously served about three months in prison on larceny and breaking and entering charges from Mecklenburg County and was released in 2012, records show. He also faces at least two pending weapons charges in Cabarrus County.
It remains unclear if Borum knew the victim. Prosecutors have also not said whether Borum was part of the protest Wednesday night or was in uptown for another reason.
Hundreds were in uptown at the time, as part of a large protest over the fatal shooting of Scott by a Charlotte Mecklenburg Police officer on Tuesday. The officer who killed Scott, Brentley Vinson, has been placed on administrative leave. Investigators have said Scott had a gun and did not obey police commands to drop it.
North Carolina’s top law enforcement agency, the State Bureau of Investigation, is conducting an independent investigation of the case.
Justin Carr’s mother, Vivian Carr, told CNN's Cooper that her son was a good man who died “for a cause.” Carr has a son due in late October, she said.
“He was so excited,” Vivian Carr told Cooper. “He wanted to teach him how to play sports, just as he did.”
Carr's brother Kenneth told Cooper that Justin often spoke about social issues that touched his heart.
“Justin never had any problem speaking out about any particular situation or cause,” Kenneth Carr told Cooper.