RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Raleigh police officer who shot and killed a man Saturday night during an incident at a shopping center was wearing a body camera but it was not activated, the department said Monday.
On Monday, Raleigh police investigators were going door to door asking business owners in the shopping center on North Rogers Lane just off New Bern Avenue for surveillance video.
Soheil Mojarrad, 30, died after being shot by a Raleigh police officer in the shopping center parking lot, police officials said.
“I want justice,” said Epifanio Pacheco, Mojarrad’s friend. “I want to know the truth.”
Pacheco went back to work Monday but said it was not easy for him to set foot in this shopping center since his friend’s death.
“My friend was the sweetest guy I ever known,” Pacheco said. “He wouldn’t have hurt a fly.”
Pacheco said Mojarrad was run over by a truck about 10 years ago and suffered permanent brain damage.
“He thought like a child, but his vocabulary was like on college level so he was smart but when you spoke to him, you had to speak to him with genuine love in your heart,” said Pacheco.
Pacheco said he always looked out for Mojarrad, but didn’t see him that night.
“No, but I’m pretty sure he might’ve came out to see me and I wasn’t here for him because I know if I was there, I would’ve stopped it,” Mojarrad said through tears.
Abraham Shteyth owns Discount City in the same shopping center where the shooting occurred.
He was closing his store for the night when he realized something was wrong.
“That’s when I saw police cars just rushing down to the opposite corner there,” said Shteyth. “I thought something was going on I just didn’t know it was gonna be this magnitude like shooting or killing.”
CBS 17 has learned the officer involved in this shooting did not have his body camera turned on.
Raleigh police denied CBS 17’s request for an interview about their body camera policies.
According to the city’s website, an officer’s body camera should be turned on as soon as possible during all contacts involving actual or potential violations of the law.
“Teach your police how to handle everybody,” said Pacheco. “Keep your body cams on. If you’re not gonna do that there’s no point of you having it, period.”
Mojarrad was arrested for assault in the same shopping center in January.
The SBI is investigating the shooting – which is standard procedure.
Also on Monday, Raleigh police said it wouldn’t provide another comment on the shooting until a report is released later in the week.