A deputy with the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office who has not been identified opened fire as the man began to drive away, neighbors told WAVY TV News 10.
At least six to eight shots reportedly rang out, and family members said Brown died after being hit multiple times.
The circumstances of the shooting remain unclear, and police would not confirm the family’s version of events.
At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Pasquotank County Sheriff Tom Wooten II promised transparency and a thorough investigation but did not answer many questions from reporters about what exactly happened, citing an “active criminal investigation.”
Wooten confirmed that one of his officers shot the man about 8:30 a.m. in the 400 block of Perry Street, off Roanoke Avenue.
No deputies were injured during the incident.
Officers serving the warrant were wearing active body cameras at the time of the shooting, however, Wooten would not say when the footage would be released to the public.
The officer who fired his service weapon has been placed on administrative leave.
Reports said the victim was a resident of the house where the warrant was served and was inside a car when he was mortally wounded, according to WAVY reporter Jason Marks.
After the shooting, police cordoned off the scene with yellow crime tape, and a large tent was put up around the vehicle to conceal the man’s body from a crowd of protesters that had gathered nearby.
Photographs showed police interacting with concerned neighbors in the street just yards away from where Brown was shot.
Marks described the scene in the community as becoming tense and filled with emotion.
It was unclear whether the man was the subject of the warrant.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate.
Elizabeth City officials scheduled an emergency council meeting for 6 p.m.
The shooting comes as police departments across the country are facing increased scrutiny from the public following a series of recent high-profile police killings and custody deaths of unarmed Black men and women.
The incident in Elizabeth City happened just one day after police in Columbus, Ohio, shot and killed Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old Black girl who was involved in an altercation with two people and was apparently using a knife to defend herself.
About 25 minutes later, former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on three counts of killing George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes last year.
Another recent police shooting of an unarmed Black man occurred April 11 outside Minneapolis when 20-year-old Daunte Wright was killed during a traffic stop in which Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter said she mistakenly fired her gun instead of a Taser.