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Family of slain suspected PS3 thief to receive $2.45 million settlement

It's been more than a year since the accidental shooting of 18-year-old Peyton Strickland by Cpl. Christopher Long, a deputy of New Hanover County, N.C., during a raid of Strickland's rented home in early December, 2006. The sheriff's Emergency Response Team was serving a warrant for Strickland's arrest in connection with his suspected involvement in two PS3's being stolen from a University of North Carolina Wilmington student. Long mistook the sounds of his own team using a battering ram for gunshots, and opened fire on the unarmed teenager.

Long was not charged with a crime, but the Strickland family recently received a small amount of closure on the matter -- a $2.45 million settlement from New Hanover County, and a public apology from Sheriff Sid Causey, who admitted that Long "made a mistake as to the existence of a deadly threat".

The Strickland family will put the $2.45 million into a charitable foundation to provide need-based scholarships and other grants. "The Stricklands were not interested in money," said Strickland family representative Joyce Fitzpatrick. "That cannot bring their son back."

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