Police are investigating the death of Credit Union of Atlanta CEO Defarra 'Dean' Gaymon, who was fatally shot by an undercover New Jersey cop on Friday night. According to a press release from the Essex County Prosecutor's Office, the undercover detective had been investigating complaints of "public sexual activity" in Branch Brook Park in Newark, and had made one arrest with his partner. During the arrest, the detective lost a pair of handcuffs, and retreated into the park to search for them. That's when he claims he was approached by Gaymon, who was "engaged in a sex act" at the time (the WSJ says he was masturbating).
After the detective flashed his badge, he says Gaymon "assaulted" him and fled, allegedly shouting threats at the officer. The press release says, "Mr. Gaymon then lunged at and attempted to disarm the officer while reaching into his own pocket. Fearing for his life, the officer discharged his service weapon, striking Mr. Gaymon once." Gaymon, however, was unarmed.
The 48-year-old, a father of four in town for his high school reunion, died of a shot to the stomach at University Hospital. The officer was also brought to the hospital to be treated for trauma, and wasn't able to give an account of what happened until Monday. Because he is the only witness, Gaymon's family has questioned the validity of his story. The family said in a statement, "We know that the police killed an innocent man, with no history of or disposition towards violence." Police have asked any other witnesses to step forward.
The Credit Union of Atlanta wrote on their website, "Credit Union of Atlanta extends condolences to the family of DeFarra "Dean" Gaymon who passed away suddenly July 16, 2010. We are deeply saddened at the loss of Mr. Gaymon and offer our most sincere sympathy to the Gaymon family." Another reunion organizer told the Times, “All the people that knew him say you never met a kinder, nicer, more gentle person, and they’re stunned about what happened."