NCCU student shot, killed by security officer at off-campus apartment complex

September 25, 2018

DeAndre Marquise Ballard

A North Carolina Central University student was shot and killed by a security guard last week at an off-campus apartment complex, officials said Monday.

Around 10:15 p.m. on Sept. 17, officers with the Durham Police Department responded to the Campus Crossing at Durham apartments in the 1400 block of Cornwallis Road, where they found 23-year-old DeAndre Marquise Ballard suffering from a gunshot wound.

Ballard was transported to a local hospital, where he died.

Ballard’s friends and family originally thought he was missing. Three days after the shooting, police connected the missing persons report to the shooting on Cornwallis Road and notified Ballard’s family of his death.

Deauntae Grimes, a lifelong friend of Ballard’s, said he was a man of faith and someone who was always willing to help.

“He was always going to either speak to you, ask you how you’re doing, ask you how your day is. He was never in a bad mood,” Grimes said. “It’s just sad to lose that type of person who was always upbeat, never anything wrong with him.”

Grimes said he is confused as to why this happened.

“The type of person Dre is, I would never in a million years picture something like this happen to Dre,” he said. “He was always trying to better someone’s life, whether it was a kid or an older person.”

The security guard who shot Ballard works for the NC Detective Agency. The company said it stands by his actions and that the guard shot Ballard in self-defense.

“He’s a 15-year veteran on our force, a state-certified armed officer. The night of this tragic incident, he was taken in for questioning for several hours, and then he was released,” said Kevin Ladd, vice president of NC Detective Agency. “There’s not a doubt in my mind that this was self-defense.”

Ladd pointed out that the guard in question is African-American, as is the majority of the NC Detective Agency force.

“It’s relevant because we’re getting death threats,” Ladd said. “With what’s going on in this country, people are assuming that this is a white officer.”

Ladd said he had reported three threats to Durham police.

“We’re just asking for calm until the full investigation is complete. It doesn’t help the situation with people sending death threats,” he said.

Ladd added that his thoughts and prayers are with Ballard’s loved ones.

“We feel bad about this, but this was justifiable,” he said.

Ballard’s family members say they question the company’s claim.

“We would love to know why he was killed because he was such a loving person,” said Tammy Becton, Ballard’s cousin.

According to a statement by the NCCU Student Government Association, Ballard was a senior physical education major with a concentration in fitness and wellness.

“Whether you knew DeAndre personally or have interacted with it is clear to see that he has impacted the lives of many, and has a spirit that will continue to live on,” Davanta T. Parker, the SGA president, said in a statement.

An investigation is underway, but no charges have been filed.

Anyone with information is asked to call Durham police Investigator E. Ortiz at 919-560-4440, extension 29337, or Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.

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