DeAndre Marquise Ballard, an N.C. Central University student referred to by friends as “a young visionary,” was killed off-campus in an altercation with a security guard late last Monday.
Ballard, 23, was found suffering a fatal gunshot wound around 10:15 p.m. last Monday night in the Campus Crossings apartment complex on Cornwallis Road where he lived. According to Durham police spokesperson Wil Glenn, Ballard was transported to a local hospital where he later died.
Concerned friends and family began posting on social media looking for information about Ballard’s whereabouts Tuesday afternoon when he was unable to be contacted.
The NCCU community was first notified of DeAndre’s death via a university statement three days later once the New Bern, N.C. native was identified by a medical examiner.
Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye asked the community to “stand together in solidarity during this difficult time and collectively keep DeAndre Ballard and his loved ones in our thoughts and prayers.”
Ballard, a physical education senior concentrating in fitness and wellness, was a member of multiple campus organizations, including Bon Vivant Fashion Society and the NCCU chapter of 100 Black Men, and worked closely with the Office of Spiritual Development and Dialogue.
WRAL reported today that the security guard that shot DeAndre was a state-certified veteran officer of the NC Detective Agency. The company stands by their employee’s actions.
“The night of this tragic incident, (the guard) was taken in for questioning for several hours, and then he was released,” NC Detective Agency vice president Kevin Ladd told the television station. “There’s not a doubt in my mind that this was self-defense.”
Ladd said that his thoughts and prayers are with DeAndre’s family, but maintains that the shooting was “justifiable.”
Both NC Detective Agency and the Durham Police Department were unavailable for comment at the time of publication. Investigation into the circumstances surrounding the shooting remains open.
DeAndre’s funeral is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. at Without Limits Christian Center in New Bern.
Anyone with further information is asked to call Investigator E. Ortiz at (919) 560-4440, ext. 29337 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200.