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FIRST ON 3: UNCW settles case with family of 2006 shooting victim

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — UNCW has reached a settlement with the family of a college student shot and killed by a New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputy more than six years ago, according to a news release on the school’s website.

Peyton Strickland died when deputies served a warrant for UNCW Police at his Wilmington home December 1, 2006. At the time of his death, Strickland, 18, was a student at Cape Fear Community College. The sheriff’s Emergency Response Team was trying to serve him a warrant in connection to the theft of a Playstation 3 video game console from a UNCW student.

According to a settlement filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission and attached to the news release, earlier this month, the state agreed to pay Strickland’s estate $150,000. According to the release, the university will also establish a $100,000 fund for UNCW to use toward accrediting UNCW Police Officers.

UNCW also agreed to release an agreed-upon statement regarding the settlement. In the statement, “the University acknowledges that Peyton was a young man of good character with no criminal record. By all accounts, Peyton was a local college student in good standing, a friend to many, and a talented young industrial artist.” It also concedes that at the time of his death, Strickland was unarmed and did nothing to provoke the shooting.

As part of the settlement, Strickland’s estate agrees to drop all other claims against the state, UNCW, UNCW Police Department and several individuals.

In February 2008, the Sheriff’s Office settled with Strickland’s family for $2.45 million. The family has funded a charitable foundation in Strickland’s name with the money.

Eight months after the shooting, a grand jury decided not to indict former deputy Chris Long, who investigators say fired the shot that killed Strickland. Long said he mistook the sound of a battering ram hitting the front door of the house as the sound of gunfire, leading him to shoot his gun.

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