North Carolina state officials have opened an investigation into the fatal shooting of a black man in his car by local sheriff's deputies serving him with a search warrant, authorities and local media have reported.
The shooting unfolded on Wednesday morning in Elizabeth City, a riverfront town of about 18,000 residents in Pasquotank County near North Carolina's coastal border with Virginia, and small groups of protesters took to the streets by evening.
The county sheriff's office and the State Bureau of Investigation, which said it had taken over the case, each provided few details of the fatal encounter.
Authorities identified the man who was slain as Andrew Brown Jr, a resident of Elizabeth City, and said only that he was shot when sheriff's deputies tried to serve him with a search warrant about 8.40am.
Relatives described him to the Raleigh News & Observer and other media outlets as a 40-year-old father and an African American.
Law enforcement officials did not say whether Brown was armed at the time or whether he was considered a threat to the officers. The nature of the warrant was not disclosed.
The shooting came the day after a jury found Derek Chauvin, a white former Minneapolis police officer, guilty of murdering George Floyd last year by kneeling on his neck while he was handcuffed and under arrest.
Relatives of Brown told CNN and other media that he was near his home and in a car at the time of the shooting.
The deputies wore body cameras and the deputy who fired was placed on administrative leave, Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten told reporters.
Local media showed scores of people gathering outside the town hall as the City Council held an emergency meeting on Wednesday night to discuss the case and a possible curfew. African Americans account for about half the town's population.
No curfew was immediately issued.
Australian Associated Press