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Strickland parents plan to sue UNCW police

DURHAM (AP) -- The parents of a teenager fatally shot by a sheriff's deputy plan to sue the police department at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. The Star-News of Wilmington reported Thursday that Donald and Kathleen Strickland of Durham have filed court documents in Durham County saying they intend to file a wrongful death claim. The documents release New Hanover County from liability. Their 18-year-old son, Peyton, and two friends were accused of beating a UNC-Wilmington student and stealing PlayStation 3 video game systems in December 2006. During a raid of his house in Wilmington, a sheriff's deputy shot Peyton through the front door. Authorities have said Peyton was unarmed. Campus police asked for the sheriff's assistance after finding Internet photos of another suspect, Peyton's friend Ryan Mills, posing with guns. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tax Money

Blame lies everywhere in this tragedy. But why exactly is tax money involved?

First of all I want to

First of all I want to express my sympathies to the Strickland family. Despite what led up to it, the end result was indeed a tragedy.I'd also like to agree 100% with the comments made about our UNCW Chancellor and (mis) management. I've seen more gaffs and errors and a continual lowering of morale on campus in the last three or four years. It seems like every new change there makes things worse. And, finally, I can't understand why UNCW is being sued---the Campus Police (in my opinion) wisely realized that they were not the people to handle what appeared to be a possibly dangerous situation. I'm not sure of the protocol of calling the Sheriff vs the Wilmington Police in this matter. But the point is UNCW police officials realized that they needed help and then they seeked it out instead of trying to handle it themselves. If anything they deserve kudos for their caution.

to the Parents of Mr Strickland

We all know you are hurting inside from the lost of your son. But to keep sueing the law enforcement isnt going to bring your son back. You will get through this. No matter how much money you get will not bring you son back. Instead of sueing work on your feelings and your hurts so you can heal. Thank You

Victims of Recklessness

UNCW most certainly deserves to pay for the their part in this travesty. The Strickland family shouldn't be the only ones filing a civil suit though. Peyton Stricklands room-mate Michael Rhoton should be filing charges also, and a separate but similar suit should go to the Sheriffs Department from him as well. Although he had nothing to do with the crime Strickland was accused of, Rhoton's life was equally endangered by Long's reckless act of shooting through the front door of the home. Rhoton was in the same room in which Strickland was shot, and it's known that more than 2 rounds were fired through the door. Those rounds would have entered the room these two young men occupied after coming through the door, so Rhoton could have just as easily been killed as was Strickland. Why the DA never presented a charge of Reckless Endangerment against Long to either Grand Jury is beyond me, because that's exactly the crime that this manner of shooting represents. Rhoton has become a footnote in an event that could have just as easily ended his life. Just imagine if he had been sitting closest to the door that night, and he had gotten up to answer it.

According to reports, Peyton

According to reports, Peyton was shot in the hallway. His roommate was int he living room around the corner. He may have been dramatized by what happened, but he has no room for a lawsuit. Maybe his roommate should be upset and dramatized by the actions of Strickland and his friends since he was living with a suspect in an armed robbery

Bullets still travel through walls.

Anytime shots are fired from outside a home, into the interior, the shooter is recklessly endangering the life of everyone inside that home. That's the very reason charges of Reckless Endangerment are handed out to perpetrators of drive-by shootings. This shooting was no different, except for lack of intent, which, from a legal standpoint, doesn't minimize the recklessness of the shooting in any way. Rhoton was more than just "dramatized"(?), he was traumatized and victimized by this shooting. He most certainly does have a valid case for a lawsuit; since bullits from a machine gun travel, not only through doors, but interior walls as well. His life was indeed endangered every bit as much as Strickland's. I'll bet if he saw a lawyer, a case would be drawn up immediately, not only for the endangerment, but also for infliction of severe emotional distress suffered as a result of seeing his roommate gunned down as he was. Nothing has been written about his having any knowledge of the alledged playstation theft, but we do know he was never charged with any crime. I'm sure he was shocked to find out on what count Strickland was going to be charged. But again, it still doesn't change the fact that Long fired through the home's closed front door, and that this act endangered the life of everybody on the other side of that door, including Michael Rhoton.

Nice try, but it won't fly.

Nice try, but it won't fly. Two shot's were fired and those shots hit the target. I could see your point if Long fired off a magazine load and the bullets went everywhere, but since the shots went where they were aimed, there is no recklessnes

There were more than 2 rounds fired there!!

Long fired between 4 and 6 shots from his machine gun. The door had 4 holes in the wood itself, and the two shots that struck Strickland were through and through shots, at least one of those Long had fired through the window at the top of that door. The rounds striking Strickland passed completely through him. They didn't just disappear after that. All of these rounds passed into walls and into the room on the other side of those walls. That's Reckless Endangerment. You acually believe there's no recklessness in this case? How would you describe ANY shots fired through the closed front door of ANYONE'S home? That's about as reckless as you can get. I'd wager money that he has a valid case, maybe if a lawyer approached him, he'd file.

You are coming out with

You are coming out with evidence that was never presented in any of the newspapers or on TV so I don't know if I can have a true reply to your comments

Overzealous LE

I find it interesting that the Durham SWAT/ERT (which is ACCREDITED)was able to arrest two MURDER suspects, one after a long stand-off, AND NO SHOTS WERE FIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What does that tell you about NHC's ERT-a little trigger happy, I'd say. I am sick to death of hearing how Peyton's actions resulted in his death. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE??? No apology to the Strickland's from Long, who has now been exempted from civil action and criminal action. What more do you want Wilmington and New Hanover County?????? Another Strickland child?????????

Dry your tears and learn the facts

In Durham, they were seeking only to arrest a suspect. The NHCS was also serving a search warrant upon the residence of Peyton Strickland. You do not stand outside and wait for hours when seeking to revover evidence. It provides the bad guys a long time to destroy the evidence. I'd highly recommend that you get your BLET certification, if for no other reason than you might learn a bit about police procedure before you second guess them.

Are you saying you wouldn't

Are you saying you wouldn't second guess this whole ordeal with Long shooting THROUGH the front door to an unknown target?

What I'm saying, Scally... that people with absolutely no training or experience in law enforcement shouldn't be pontificating on tactics peculiar to a particular arrest being the correct procedure in every single case. You tailor your tactics to the individual situation. In the case of felony evidence recovery, you don't wait outside for hours or make the arrests away from the location of the evidence, as people have suggested. Recovering the evidence is JUST as important as making the arrest, because without the evidence, the arrest is futile and a waste of time.

UNC Diversity by the Sea-W

What an unfortunate event that stemmed from another "diversity driven" decision by DePalo. The comment regarding diversity on campus is right on target. It's ashame that someone in such a respective position can make important decisions based solely on this so called need for "diversity" on the campus of UNC-W. Since her arrival, there have been positions created and filled by those left of center/different/minority individuals. Those opportunities for middle class hard working white men have become a thing of the past. I hope the Strickland's receive what is owed to them for a poor decision that cost them the life of their son. It won't bring back their son, but might change an unfortunate trend on campus -- "diversity" that is thrown in everyone's face upon arrival on campus.


Since Chancellor DePaulo has been at UNC-W the university has become a bastion for liberal thinking and diversity at the sake of the majority. Her decisions since arrival have been detrimental to the University. Remember her first decison with the swim team, way off. Even her own students cannot get along reference the tree cutting. The Chief of Police answers to her so she gets the credit for his bad decision to call in SWAT. Employees I talk to at UNC-W state that unless you are gay, a minority and completley different from the norm forget a promotion. A white male can forget promotion completely, not diversified enough. Get rid of the chancellor and you will see improvements in all areas of UNC-W. Keep her and she will drag it down with her liberal, biased policies.

Peyton Strickland

in my opinion it was uncw's fault that this young man's life was taken so abruptly.all of this happenened off campus which uncw has no happened at walmart an yes it involved a uncw student.if they (uncw Police)would have followed proper procedure an notified the wpd of their findings an let them (wpd) handle it this probably wouldn't have turned out the way it did.there's too many security firms in this town that think when they get a badge an a gun they automitically become the law an can do what they want too to you.uncw.nhrmc,interpol to name a few that think this way they have no jurisdiction in the city except for who they work if the suspects flee their suppose to contact the local law enforcement an let them handle it. i hope the strickland family sues the heck out of uncw an maybe it'll wake them up an figure out they don't own this town.


Read the laws. A Police Officer on UNCW has the same power and authority. as a WPD Officer does. There is no differentness in the two. They just work for different company's. Just like any other job.


The one that wrote a comment about JURISDICTION in the city. The Sheriffs Dept has jurisdiction in the city of Wilm,in Carolina Beach, In Wrightsville Beach. Because those towns are in the COUNTY.The city is in the COUNTY.NHSD has MORE jurisdiction than anyone in the county...start thinking!!!

UNCW police

I'm not taking either side, I just felt that it was necessary to say that UNCW Police are not a security firm. They are a fully functional police dept. There jurisdiction may be small, but so is the jurisdiction of the police in my town a few miles outside of Wilmington. Had they been a security firm I would actually give them a little more leniency due to a certain "rookie" type of attitude common amongst firms. Many of UNCW's Police officers are actually former WPD officers and NHC sheriff officers.


The UNCW Police is not a private security force. They are sworn police officers employed by the State of North Carolina. They have Powers of Arrest exactly like the WPD.

Wether you like it or not

Wether you like it or not UNCW & NHRMC are police agencies, not "security firms" so try and at least get your facts straight before you start making ignorant statements. They both employ sworn police officers who have the SAME training and the same investigative and arrest powers that WPD has. The only difference between those two agencies and WPD is their respective jurisdictions. If something happens on either agencies campus, they handle it, that's not to difficult to comprehend.

Stop now,

You have to stop writing in this silly way. We *(I, I mean_) can't read what you are saying with all of the run-ons, no punctuation, emotionally driven dribble if it hurts my eyes. Please refer to your local schoolbooks if y'all can't remember the type written word. And God Have mercy on the country that lets these pitiful people exist. Don't post if you can't type right. Use one of those voice activated commentor things if you think what you have say is valuable.

Peyton Strickland


How can you blame UNCW? obviously don't know a whole lot do you? First of all, UNCW Police did follow proper procedures when they contacted the NHSO. Whether the inciedent was inside the city limits or not, the sheriff's office has every legal right to do their job. NHRMC Police no Interpol have anything to do with this situation And as far as UNCW requesting help from NHSO and their ERT team, they have every right to do so just as the ERT team had every right to be there. Three thugs jumped one man and hit him with a weapon. That in itself is armed robbery and gives enough of a reason for the ERT team. But let's add to that: A picture of one of these thugs shows him with an illegal weapon. That same person is known to frequently be at the Strickland house. There was drug paraphernalia found inside the house and most people know that were you have drugs and can assume there are weapons. One of the other thugs tht was arrested was found to have a loaded shotgun in his truck when he was arrested. Another weapon which could possibly be the one used in the robbery was found inside this guys truck. If you add all that up, then yes, the ERT team had every reason to be at that house.


Guest101, go back and read the initial news reports before you post, the actual robbery happened on UNCW not Wal-mart so they do have jurisdiction and I think Interpol is private police but the campus police are employed by the state not a private security service. Get your facts straight. That is all.

UNCW has jurisdiction up to

UNCW has jurisdiction up to one mile surrounding their campus in all directions. If that particular student had shown up to the door with any number of the guns he was holding in the pictures he put on his website, the outcome of the story would have been very different. Then, the focus would be on how the police did not take their responsibilities seriously enough. There is no question that this is a tragedy, but every tragedy does not have to have a scapegoat for grief.

Strickland killing

First of all, let me state right up front that my heart truly goes out to the Strickland family for their loss in this tragedy. However, that is where all of my sympathy ends. This family has already been awarded 2.5 million dollars by the state, to be paid by the city of Wilmington. And let's bear in mind the incident(s) surrounding their sons tragic demise: the New Hanover County Sheriff's office was at their son's door to arrest him for committing an armed robbery. Granted, the shooting was a horrible mistake. That does not mean that Peyton Strickland himself was completely blameless in bringing about the situation that directly lead to his death. And by the way, according to the story, it seems to me that UNCW did everything right. They found internet pictures of one suspect with guns and called the Sheriff's Office. This family has my sincerest sympathies for the loss of their son. I would not wish that on anyone. But they should not be entitled to a financial windfall because their son was killed as he was being arrested. The citizens of Wilmington should not have to pay for that, and neither should future students at UNCW. How sad is that? Peyton Strickland is involved in the armed robbery (for a stinking PS 3) of a UNCW student; police accidentally shoot and kill him while attempting to arrest him; Strickland's family sues UNCW for wrongful death; UNCW students get to pay for Strickland's death thru increased tuitions. So even from the grave, Peyton Strickland continues to rob UNCW students. There is no way that can ever be right.

Pictures of guns and suspects

"it seems to me that UNCW did everything right. They found internet pictures of one suspect with guns and called the Sheriff's Office". Guns aren't illegal. "Suppose" a person is suspected of hiring prostitutes for sex. Should we assume that if a picture of them is found on the internet with the opposite sex, that the other person in the picture is a prostitute? It scares me more to see a picture of Thomas Wright holding an ink pen with that smug look on his face. More people get robbed everyday by corrupt politicians with just the stroke of a pen.

UNCW is being sued for the

UNCW is being sued for the part they played and the poor decision making used in this terrible tragedy. UNCW used the Wilmington Police for the entire investigation because they are well trained. Then UNCW decided to use a less trained police force to catch the criminal. I don't know why UNCW did that. Is it because Wilmington Police wanted to catch Strickland at school and not do the guns and glory thing or that New Hanover county police did want to do the hardcore swat tactical assault...Maybe UNCW should have thought about that first. This suit will change one thing that is better for all of us. It will cause the police to change their decisions in using force when necessary and be more cautious in making decisions.Peyton Strickland was a criminal but this tragedy could have been avoided by both parties. UNCW police made a bad decision when they chose not to use the better trained police to catch the criminal.

Better trained???

What exactly makes WPD better trained officers than NHSO??? NHSO's ERT team has actually been around longer and have more training hours. Your basis for using a better trained organization is ridiculous. Try learning more about what you are talking about before you start talking