Daniel Harris was fatally shot on Thursday after failing to pull over for a speeding violation
The brother of a deaf man fatally shot by a North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper after an attempted traffic stop remembered his sibling as a sociable man with a great smile.
Daniel Harris, 29, allegedly led police on a brief chase when they tried to pull him over for speeding as he drove down Interstate 485 at about 6:15 p.m. last Thursday.
“The driver exited his vehicle and an encounter took place between the driver and the trooper causing a shot to be fired,” according to a statement from the North Carolina Highway Patrol obtained by PEOPLE.
Harris was pronounced dead at the scene and the trooper, Jermaine Saunders has been placed on administrative leave, a State Bureau of Investigation spokesperson tells PEOPLE.
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“He was a handsome man. He had a beautiful smile,” Sam, who is also deaf, said of his brother during a Tuesday appearance on the Today show. “It was easy to smile, too. [He had] a great sense of humor, sociable.”
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Harris’ neighbor, Mark Barringer, told Today that he witnessed the shooting, noting that it was “really scary” when the gunshot went off.
“They should’ve been trained to realize – you know, this is an entirely different situation. You’re pulling someone over that’s deaf, they’re handicapped,” Barringer said.
It is unclear whether the trooper was aware that Harris was hearing impaired at the time of the shooting.
In a Facebook post, a user identifying himself as Charles, Harris’ brother, voiced his anger over the incident, according to ABC News.
“How he can [sic] communicate with polices [sic] and able to feel safe and protect himself from polices?” the user wrote. “My brother is UNARMED and still got shot by police.”
The details of the encounter are still being investigated, police said.
A crowdfunding campaign page has been set up in Harris’ memory.