Thursday, November 19, 2015

What Happened To John Livingston?

Harnett County shooting
Father of three was gunned down by the law. He was mistaken for someone else.

Once again if it wasn't for DeRay McKesson, Shaun White and Bree Newsome, you wouldn't hear the story about John Livingston.

The law placed two officers on ice after they used deadly force on a father of three after they claimed he resisted arrest and reached for the Taser.

The law called John called a "suspect" by the Sheriff's Office on Sunday, was "deceased at scene" following a confrontation with two sheriff's deputies, a new release from the department said Monday.

Authorities said John tried to grab a Taser from a deputy, according to reports cited by The Associated Press. Witnesses also said in published reports that deputies used pepper spray and a Taser on John before shooting him multiple times.

"He wasn't no suspect," said Libby Lovings, who identified herself as John's mother-in-law.

Although never married to John, her daughter, Jessika Cardwell, is the mother of his three children.

"I was in sick shock yesterday," Lovings said Monday.

She and Cardwell said the lawmen were looking for another man when, about 3:40 a.m., they approached the residence at the intersection of Stage Road and West Everett Street.

"They did not have the right person," said a neighbor, who did not want to be identified. "It should have stopped when they figured the person they were looking for was not there."

George Thomas, 51, who lives about 25 yards from the house where the shooting took place, said he had been there drinking beer earlier Saturday night before leaving to go to bed at about 2:30 a.m.

"I heard a gun. I heard four shots rapid fire," he said. "Police was looking for somebody else. It won't him. John told them they didn't have no search warrant. John shut the door on the police. By the time he locked the door, they kicked it in.

"They shot the wrong guy for the wrong thing," Thomas said. "Wrong guy. Wrong house. Wrong everything."

The Sheriff's Office said, as part of its standard procedure, the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave. On Monday, the name of only one of the deputies, Nicholas Kehagias, was released. The Sheriff's Office said Kehagias was involved in the shooting incident.

Kehagias, who is assigned to the patrol division, has been employed as a deputy sheriff with Harnett County since July 2013, a news release said.

Typically, a law enforcement source said, a law enforcement agency only releases the name of the officer who actually discharges the weapon.

Nick Kehagias was placed in the freezer pending grand jury decision
The release did not say if Kehagias got freezer burn.

Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins could not be reached for comment.

Maj. Jeff Huber, a spokesman for the Harnett County Sheriff's Office, declined to answer questions posed by email. "The investigation is being handled by the SBI," Huber said in his reply. "Any questions should be directed to them."

SBI spokesman Shannon O'Toole said the agency could not answer any additional questions on the case. The State Bureau of Investigation, O'Toole said, should complete the probe "within a week or less."

Livingston, Lovings said, had been living in the mobile home where he was shot about three months.

"John was more of a visitor," the anonymous neighbor said.

The neighbor said he heard "like four gunshots" early Sunday morning. He said, from what he has learned, John was shot in the mouth and three times in the chest, although those details have not been confirmed by authorities.

"We heard it. Everybody heard it," said a woman who lives with the neighbor.

Lovings and Cardwell spoke from the small front deck of Lovings' mobile home, no more than a quarter-mile from the weathered brown trailer where Livingston had been living. It's a desolate area of the county, where the pot-holed roads are nothing but sand and some of the neighborhood mobile homes are abandoned, burned and even gutted.

Lovings said deputies with the Harnett County Sheriff's Office had visited her later Sunday morning.

She said they offered no apology for what transpired.

"They just said there was an altercation between John Livingston and the Harnett County sheriff's (deputies)," Lovings said. "They didn't provide any details. Just said there was an altercation and that

John Livingston was no longer with us. And I think he probably got a little mouthy.
The moment happens after this.
"Do you really need to use all that kind of force?" she asked rhetorically. "They supposedly dragged him out by the beard, started beating him, then pepper sprayed him and used a Taser gun on him, and then shot him."

Lovings said the family "definitely" wants to speak to an attorney in hopes of pursuing "some kind of justice."

John, who was originally from Beckley, West Virginia, worked as a carpenter and framer.

Cardwell, who is 33, said she first met him when she was 16. "We were together a long time," she said.

He also leaves behind three children: John III, 14; Kandis, 11; and Cameron, 8.

"He was the greatest father you could imagine," Cardwell said, becoming emotional at the thought.

"So kind-hearted. All the kids around here loved him. John had the best personality. Where he went, he would light up the party."

World News Today send our condolences to the family of John Livingston.

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