Updated 05/13/2012 05:55 PM
Army Staff Sergeant shot by Fayetteville police last week dies
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FAYETTEVILLE—An Army Staff Sergeant who was shot by a police officer in Fayetteville last week died Saturday.
Fayetteville police say they received reports of Staff Sgt. Mark Salazar, 27, firing a handgun on Pacific Avenue on May 6. Salazar was approached by three officers who ordered him to show his hands. Authorities say an officer fired when Salazar did not comply with orders.
Some say what happened is unjust.
"No, that is not Mark, He is not like that, He is not that type of person. He never causes problems, whatsoever,” said neighbor and family friend of Salazar Clara Hopkins.
Hopkins said Salazar was a good, loyal man. He never got in trouble and Hopkins said Salazar did not deserve to die in the manner that he did. She said she was sleeping when the incident took place last week.
However Hopkins said she has been told from other neighbors that when officers asked Salazar to raise his hands, they shot him before he had the opportunity to do so.
"Things shouldn't have happened that way to be honest, I don't think they should have shot him from the waist up,” said Hopkins.
After going through three surgeries, Salazar died Saturday. Hopkins said her two sons grew up in the neighborhood with Salazar. She said when her family received the news,they were devastated.
"My son called me crying, because another friend called him from the hospital and told him that Mark had passed away,” said, Hopkins
Salazar leaves behind a son. News 14 Carolina spoke with the mother of their son who was not willing to speak on camera. She said Salazar was a good father.
"If anyone out there can help us get justice for Mark, because I don't think its right what has happened to him, the way it happened," said Hopkins.
The investigation is being handled by the SBI. The three officers involved are on leave, which is standard procedure.