Questions after fatal North Carolina police shooting

Scene of a police shooting in Raleigh, N.C. on Monday, Feb 29.

CBS affiliate WNCN

Last Updated Feb 29, 2016 10:22 PM EST

RALEIGH, N.C. -- A police officer fatally shot a man during a foot chase as he was trying to arrest him on drug charges early Monday afternoon, the Raleigh police chief said.

In the first several hours following the shooting, local television coverage showed police forming a line in the street near the downtown neighborhood where the shooting took place as a number of people gathered behind yellow crime-scene tape that blocked off the area and began chanting "No justice, no peace!"

The chant has been used repeatedly across the nation in recent years to protest the deaths of black men following encounters with law enforcement officers.

Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown did not reveal the man's race during a news conference at City Hall.

She said a firearm was found near the man's body, but did not say whether it was his. She also said the man was wanted on a felony drug charge.

Deck-Brown declined to provide any other details about the circumstances of the shooting pending a customary investigation by the state Bureau of Investigation.

The victim's mom told CBS affiliate WNCN that her son, Akiel Denkins, was wanted on a warrant. Denkins was running from police when he was shot in the back and killed, the victim's mom, Rolanda Byrd, said.

Rolanda Byrd also said that her son had died in the shooting. Denkins' mom said he had two children.

"He was unarmed and he was running away because they couldn't catch him and he jumped the fence and they shot at him seven times," Byrd said.

By late afternoon, the police tape had been taken down and by evening several dozen people had gathered with candles at a makeshift memorial near where the shooting happened.

Akiel Denkins' mother identified him as the victim of the shooting in Raleigh on Feb. 29, 2016.
CBS affiliate WNCN

Bishop Darnell Dixon, who for 20 years has served as pastor of the Bibleway Temple church about a quarter-mile from where the shooting happened, said neighborhood relations with the police have generally been good, and he believed calm would prevail.

"This is very different for this community, the actual shooting," he said. "I'm interested in knowing: 'Why did it escalate to this point?'"

Tamekia Richardson said she saw a male police officer chasing a man into the backyard of one of the street's modest homes. The men disappeared from view, and then she heard shots.

She said she then ran down a side street away from the shooting.

A woman says she saw a Raleigh, North Carolina, police officer shoot a man six times.

Claresa Williams told The Associated Press that she was standing on a curb in front of her apartment early Monday afternoon when the police officer drove up and the man began running from in front of a convenience store.

Williams says the man jumped the fence into the backyard of a house next door. She says the officer jumped the fence, pulled his gun and shot the man six times.

Judith Lewis, a woman who described herself as a community activist who has lived in the area for years, said a lot of drug activity takes place in the neighborhood at night. She blamed it on buyers coming in from elsewhere.

Dozens gathered near the scene of the deadly shooting in Raleigh, N.C.
CBS affiliate WNCN

"It's an open-air market," she said.

On Monday night, police said the officer in the shooting, Senior Officer D.C. Twiddy, age 29, has been employed by the Raleigh Police Department since November 2009 and is assigned to the Field Operations Division, WNCN reports.

"In accordance with departmental policy, Officer Twiddy has been placed on administrative duty..." Raleigh police said.

Deck-Brown said the Raleigh Police Department's Internal Affairs unit will investigate whether any departmental policies were violated. She said she will send a report to the city manager within five working days.

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane told WNCN, "It's obviously a sad, terrible situation and we're all very saddened by the news but I really don't have any information right now. The Raleigh Police Department is currently working on a report and we'll get that out to you as soon as we can."