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Family of Robeson Co. man killed in officer-involved shooting speak about his death

Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 11:44 AM EDT
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ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. (WMBF) – Attorneys joined the family of a Robeson County man who died in an officer-involved shooting for a press conference Thursday.

Matthew Oxendine, 46, was shot and killed in January on Janice Drive.

“Listen to this, this man was shot more than 30 times. A mental health call led to a man being shot more than 30 times,” said Bakari Sellers, one of the family’s attorneys.

Deputies said Oxendine set fire to a vehicle while still inside.

Authorities then attempted to get him out of the car while calling the fire department to assist. Oxendine allegedly made statements about bleeding out and threatened officers.

Deputies said SWAT operators later arrived and also attempted to get Oxendine to exit the vehicle. He was fatally shot by authorities after reportedly pointing what appeared to be a firearm in the direction of SWAT as they approached.

Authorities later said Oxendine had a toy gun in his possession.

“With him having a known history of mental illness where were the negotiators or psychologists or those who come on the scene to help relieve the situation to help it end safely than having this execution,” said Chance Lynch, another attorney.

The lack of dash camera and body camera footage is especially concerning for Oxendine’s family who continues their search for answers.

Sellers said they also have reason to believe the deputies involved in the shooting are back at work and he’s asking Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins to turn over their names.

“It’s being investigated by the SBI, they should not be walking these streets after what we believe was violating policy but possibly committing a crime,” he said.

Wilkins was unable to comment while waiting on the final report from the SBI and findings from the District Attorney’s Office and Attorney General’s Office.

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