A teenager accused of robbing a student of two new Playstation 3s on the day the popular game consoles were introduced was killed by police who had been sent to arrest him.
Peyton Strickland, 18, was killed Friday at a house he shared with three roommates, New Hanover County Sheriff Sid Causey said.
"If this boy would've come to the door, opened the door, we probably wouldn't be talking," the sheriff said Sunday.
Roommate Mike Rhoton said Strickland was unarmed, but may have been holding a video game controller when he went to the door as it was bashed in by officers.
Causey said Monday he couldn't yet discuss the circumstances of the shooting, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported on its Web site.
"I am anxious to tell what happened," Causey said after he was sworn in for a new term as sheriff. "In a few days, we'll be able to. For now, it just wouldn't be right."
Asked if the deputies felt their lives were threatened, Causey said, "Anytime you have a high-risk entry like this, you feel that your life is at risk." He declined to say what made the arrest high risk.
Arrest warrants alleged that Strickland, a student at Cape Fear Community College, and a University of North Carolina at Wilmington student stole two PlayStation units from another UNC Wilmington student that day.
The sheriff said the robbery victim had waited three days in line to buy two Playstation 3 units for $641 each at a Wal-Mart. He was unloading the units at his campus apartment when one man beat him to the ground while another took the PlayStations, Causey said.
The sheriff said Strickland was shot by members of a a special police unit who went to help university officers serve warrants.
Strickland's dog, a German shepherd, also was shot to death.
The State Bureau of Investigation is examining the case and three deputies on the team were placed on paid leave, Causey said.
The second man named in the warrants was arrested at another address and was released on bail on Saturday, authorities said.
The nationwide introduction of the Sony game system on Nov. 17 was marked by rowdy crowds and store stampedes. One buyer waiting in line at a Connecticut store was shot by armed robbers.