Slain NCCU student’s mother says shooting was unjustified
At first, DeAndre Ballard’s mother thought he was missing.
Then, Ernisha Ballard got the news no mother ever wants to hear. Her son was dead.
DeAndre Ballard, a senior at North Carolina Central University, was shot and killed last week by a security guard at an off-campus apartment.
Durham police said it took several days to identify DeAndre Ballard because he didn’t have any identification on him or a phone with him. His fingerprints weren’t in any database, no Durham police officers or N.C. Central police officers recognized his photo, and he didn’t match the description of any missing person report, police said.
Police said they were able to identify him only after his family filed a missing person report.
On Tuesday, Ernisha Ballard said she was holding it together because she has to plan a funeral and think about her two other children.
The company the security guard worked for, NC Detective Agency, said the shooting was in self-defense.
Ernisha Ballard said she doesn’t believe that to be the case, saying her son was wearing only shorts and socks at the time, an indication that he had briefly stepped out of his apartment to get something and was not up to mischief.
She remembers the last time they spoke.
“We were having a normal conversation,” Ernisha Ballard said. “He told me, ‘Mom, you’re good, you’re getting too old, you don’t have to stress about us.’ We were just having a conversation. And that was it because I think I had to work that day, and I told him I’d call him back later because I had to go to work. And that was the last time I talked to him.”
Friends said DeAndre Ballard was a young man of faith.
NC Detective Agency wanted to point out that the guard who shot Ballard is black. Its vice president, Kevin Ladd, said race is relevant because company employees were getting death threats.
“With what’s going on in this country, people are assuming that this is a white officer, I guess because I was on TV, and I’m white,” Ladd said.
The investigation is ongoing.