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NEW HANOVER COUNTY — The New Hanover County grand jury has reached a decision in its inquiry into whether former deputy Chris Long committed any wrongdoing in the shooting death of Peyton Strickland.

When the judge announced that there was not a true bill of indictment on voluntary manslaughter charges, Long sobbed in relief.

Long, members of his family as well as Peyton Strickland's father were in the courtroom when the announcement was made.

Donald Strickland did not comment on the decision, he only shook his head.

The Strickland family did release a statement saying the grand jury's decision not to indict long compounds the family's tragedy.

Chris Long himself did not make any comments, his father however did.

Harry Long said, "We are pleased with the outcome. It has been very difficult for everyone involved. We have had faith in the system and in god. We hope that we will be able to move forward from the situation."

What will happen from here is still a big question.

The Strickland family has not made any comment on whether it plans to file a civil suit.

Chris Long's attorneys would not address that issue either.

New Hanover County Sheriff Sid Causey would not comment on the grand jury's decision. He did however say he would consider rehiring Long or allowing him to resign from the department instead of being fired.

Causey says he has not made a decision yet.

Strickland's family issued a statement saying the refusal by the grand jury to indict Long compounds their tragedy: "Our unarmed 18-year-old son, Peyton, was killed when Chris Long, a deputy sheriff, fired three bullets from a submachine gun through the front door of Peyton’s house while he was answering the unlocked door. The failure of the grand jury to indict Long on any charge compounds our family’s tragedy."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comment on this Story

  • Michelle Losano

    I think that what the people of Wilmington are forgetting is that Peyton Strickland would’ve had never had an encounter with NHSO if he had not been stealing game systems from innocent people.
    It’s funny how the bad guy can turn into the good guy when it’s convenient for the public to once again criticize law enforcement. I proudly represent law enforcement and I personally believe that Deputy Christopher Long was doing what he was trained to do. In law enforcement “Officers Safety” is first and foremost. L.E.O.’s risk their lives everytime they put on that uniform.
    You cannot judge an officer until you walked a beat in his shoes. I have an idea for all of you who dislike law enforcement and are so quick to judge….the next time you need help…CALL A CRIMINAL, I’M SURE THEY’D RESPOND IN RECORD TIME TO ASSIST YOU!!!

  • zelda

    stealing isn’t a death sentence..long should pay…what happens when his kids break the law?..do they get killed..putting long away might help his kids see that if you commit murder you should pay

  • John Kiner

    Innocent until proven guilty is what you are forgetting! Strickland allegedly stole games, but never got his day in court. He got a death sentence from a rookie! I would personally love to call this alleged criminal in my time of need, but I’ll never get that chance, will I Chris Long? Karma is a bitch!

  • Peyton cousin

    OK first off I understand that Peyton stole the play station but that isn’t a death sentence he shouldn’t have died for it and if u think about it Peyton wasn’t alone he had other guys with him and they r still breathing and taking and walking every day and Peyton was the one who was killed no one understands what it’s like for our family. And yes it was stupid but Chris long was send there but if u knew the whole story it would make more sense why it’s such a big deal so u can shut up he sint do want he should have and he has a sutured

  • guesty

    Try posting again once you sober up.


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