Armed North Carolina 'Vigilante Group' Including Police Deputy Threaten Black High School Senior in Case of Mistaken Identity

Approximately 15 white men, including an individual who appeared to be an officer, gathered on the front porch of a home belonging to a black family in Rocky Point, North Carolina on Sunday night demanding entrance. At least two of the men were allegedly armed.

The group was operating under the belief that an individual named Josiah, a student at Topsail High School in Pender County, was a resident at the home. Allegedly, the men wanted to speak to Josiah concerning the whereabouts of a girl that had gone missing that evening. Among the members of the alleged group were the girl's father and an off-duty bailiff for the New Hanover County Sheriff's Department.

However, the group had the wrong house. Living in the home were Dameon Shephard, a high school senior at Laney High School in New Hanover County, and his mother. Although allegedly being told repeatedly that no one named Josiah lived at that address, one of the men put his foot in the door and demanded to be let inside. The Shephards' lawn had a sign with Dameon's name on it, celebrating his upcoming graduation from high school.

"As soon as I open the door I see these guys in front of me and they're holding guns and it looks like there's one in a police uniform," Shephard told reporters on Thursday.

"They were all civilians," said Shephard's mother, Monica, on Thursday. "The only one that was in a uniform was the one that was in the center of the door. Everyone else was civilians."

Two members of the group allegedly held firearms, including an assault rifle and a shotgun.

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A black high school senior in the Wilmington, North Carolina claims a group of white individuals, some with weapons, attempted to gain entrance into his home Sunday. Lila Galimzianova/Getty

Neighbors called the Pender County Sheriff's Department (PCSD) and many of the individuals allegedly in the group spoke with the Shephard family outside. However, no investigation was carried out.

According to a letter sent by Wilmington attorney Jim Lea, III to District Attorney Benjamin David, the arrival of PCSD Captain B.A. Sanders yielded the same result. After Sanders spoke with the deputies and the Shephard family, "no arrests were made, no charges were filed, and no action was taken by the Pender County Sheriff's Department despite the repeated demands and request of not only of the Shephards, but the entire neighborhood."

The Shephards are one of only two black families in the neighborhood, which is predominantly white.

"We can't have vigilante groups just wandering around our county, intimidating people with guns," Lea told the Port City Daily on Thursday. "Nor can we have our police officers in a role that they shouldn't be in joining this group."

Newsweek reached out to Jim Lea's office and the New Hanover Sheriff's Department for comment. This story will be updated with any response.

On the following day, Captain Sanders allegedly returned to the Shephard home. Sanders allegedly told the Shephards that arresting anyone involved in the incident would be complicated. According to Lea's letter, "the Sheriff's Department had not taken any names." However, Sanders indicated that he would "look into it."

"Nothing further has been heard from any law enforcement official," Lea added.

"The individual named 'Josiah had apparently lived next door with his mother for some period of time," Lea wrote, "but had left his residence in the neighborhood approximately one month prior."

Lekayda Kempisty, the missing girl, was found safe in New Hanover County on Monday.