Mr. and Mrs. Tyrone Lucas, then separated, agreed to allow Tyrone to take custody of the children to keep them out of the foster care system. She complained how difficult it was to deal with the Wilson County Child Protection Services; how she felt like they were trying everything in their power to keep her and her family away from the children or ever getting the children back. She states, CPS gave her and her family a very hard time when it came to visitations or considering family to take custody of the children. Her husband, the father of the children, Tyrone Lucas agreed to take parenting classes and everything else CPS would require for him to gain custody of the children. Friends, family and the couple were very happy to know the children would be returning to the family and all chipped in to help Tyrone prepare. Less than 9 hours to go before what was supposed to be one of the happiest days of the fathers life, August 1, 2012 the same date as the custody court hearing with Wilson County CPS, he is shot dead in a local police shootout.
The family states there have been several different stories given to them by local police. They believe foul-play is present. One story is that he was shot and killed by a police officer, another he committed suicide and shot himself in the right side of the head. The issue with the story of suicide is that Mr. Tyrone Lucas family states he is left handed therefore they cannot understand how he could or would shot himself with his right hand and he is left handed.
The family has yet to view the body or identify the body. The body of Tyrone Lucas has been moved several times and the family states local police will not allow them to view the body stating SBI is now in control of the body. The family states that police have ordered the body to be embalmed even though the family has asked for them not to embalm the body. Against the families wishes the body has been embalmed.
The family cannot understand why they could not see the body and why their wishes of not embalming the body before an autopsy could be performed was not respected by local authorities and the SBI. The police officer identified in the shootout has been said to be on paid leave due to that police officer being involved in a shooting with another African American men just earlier this year. Friends of the family who know the officer should be on paid leave, states they can’t understand how this same officer is in uniform and on duty, who is known in the African American community as a racist police officer.
The family still searches for answer with such an untimely death of their son and husband; another young African American male.
Telethia Denise Barrett of The NC Justice Seeker took the Disability Discrimination Complaint from Mrs. Ashley Lucas and helped her file the complaint with the NC DHHS June of 2012. "It's sad that we have found ourselves in the middle of such a tragedy. We have seen retaliation from Wilson County CPS on Civil Rights complainants, but we would have never thought we would see a young man shot and possibly killed by local government officials 9 hours before being awarded custody of the children who are apart of a civil rights complaint. That civil rights complaint is against the Wilson County Department of Social Services, Child Protection Services.
We all involved are taking a very close look at this being a clear case of retaliation against several complainants of The NC Justice Seeker and myself. We have been very active in the community and all feel with the possibility of foul play all of our lives could be in danger by local government, who may all be working together to protect themselves and has sent this possible killing as a sign or form of intimidation to tell us to stop or else. We have rights and we have all agreed to fight for the rights of all, no matter the threat to all of our lives. We ask for help from the community and we will move forward with our Wilson County-City Wide Evangelism Events of Our God is a God Of Justice.