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Autopsy: Jason Walker shot four times by off-duty deputy

'This is clearly excessive,' says civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, who represents the Walker family.


Jason Walker - who was killed Jan. 8 by an off-duty Cumberland County sheriff’s deputy - was shot four times, including to his head and back, according to an autopsy report released Thursday.

“This information in this official autopsy report confirms what we already knew – that Jason Walker was killed unjustly in cold blood by off-duty deputy Jeffrey Hash,’’ renowned civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, who represents the Walker family, said in a statement. “This is clearly excessive.” 

The 37-year-old Walker was shot by Hash near his home on Bingham Drive after witnesses said Walker jumped on the deputy’s truck. Hash has said he exited his pickup and shot Walker to protect his wife and daughter, who were in the vehicle with him.

Hash, a lieutenant who has been with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office since 2005, was placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

No charges have been filed. The State Bureau of Investigation looked into the shooting.

Anjanette Grube, a spokeswoman for the SBI, said Thursday by email that Walker's case file "was submitted to the Conference of DAs for review earlier this month. The Conference of DAs will determine whether criminal charges are appropriate, not the SBI."

Walker’s family could not immediately be reached for comment.

Autopsy findings

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner states in the autopsy that multiple bullets struck Walker, including:

  • A penetrating wound of the head and neck.
  • A penetrating wound to the torso that pierced his heart and liver. 
  • A perforating wound of the back.
  • A perforating wound to his left thigh.

The report also calls Walker's death a homicide.

“Based on the autopsy findings and circumstances surrounding the death, as currently understood, the cause of death is listed as multiple gunshot wounds. The manner of death is classified as homicide,” the autopsy report states.

The toxicology report found that Walker was not using drugs and was not drunk. He did have nicotine, caffeine and a trace amount of an antihistamine in his system, the report said.

Crump said the deputy should have known his actions could be fatal.

“According to the autopsy, Hash shot Jason four times, including shots to the head, back and heart,’’ Crump said in the statement. “A trained law enforcement officer knows that shooting someone that many times and in those parts of the body is shooting to kill.’’

“Jason should still be alive today," Crump said.

Crump said he will continue to push for transparency from the SBI. He also said the Walker family is demanding murder charges be filed against Hash by the N.C. Conference of District Attorneys.

Fayetteville lawyer Allen Rogers, who also represents the Walker family, said the autopsy clearly reflects the fact that Walker was not under the influence of any alcohol or drugs.

"The actions taken by the officer on that day were unnecessary and excessive use of force," he said. "We are not certain of the order of the shots, but certainly any one of those would have been incapacitating."

In the weeks following the shooting, people marched in Fayetteville demanding justice for Walker and calling for the deputy’s arrest.

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView TODAY. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com. Have a news tip? Email news@CityViewTODAY.com.

Fayetteville, Jason Walker, fatal shooting, off-duty deputy